Digital Britain becomes a cash cow

Interesting development in the final draft of the Digital Britian report is the £6 a year telephone line tax. It is proposed that every single line in the country will be subjected to this tax and that its proceeds will be put towards providing high speed internet (in Government’s eyes this is 2 Mb/s) to those in the countryside. The cynical side of me would suggest that this money will never materialise, much like the taxes on cars that never seems to be spent on the road infrastructure. And if it does, is it right that the 90% of the population close enough to receive 2 Mb/s should subsidise the remaining few? For one I would expect they enjoy a slower pace of life (one of the reasons I love to go back to the Cotswolds each weekend) and hence don’t have the high demands on broadband.

In a way it is like trying to put a motorway outside every house in the country. While it would be a great achievement, when I am in Gloucestershire I like the fact that there aren’t any motorways. Sure future services will put more of a requirement on the use of broadband and faster internet services but surely the politicians should be wondering why there isn’t a higher take up in the areas that can already get services. Don’t get me wrong I will be very happy when I have 20 Mb/s at my home but I doubt many of my neighbors will notice.

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