British Parliament rails against proposed broadband tax

Britain's plan to subsidize greater broadband penetration in "unserved" and "underserved" areas by levying a tax on residential phone lines continues to be met with opposition by Parliament's Business Innovation and Skills committee.

While the committee said it supports the government's drive to achieve universal broadband access by 2012 under its "Digital Britain" plan, they believe that placing a US$1.00 tax on traditional wireline phone connections to expand broadband availability is "poorly targeted."  

Instead of requiring consumers to pay yet another tax to the government, Parliament believes the government should examine ways to encourage service providers to expand their respective broadband service sets.  

"The market can be helped to deliver greater levels of high speed access without significant increases in public expenditure," committee chairman Peter Luff said in the report.

One of the proposals Parliament did put on the table to encourage greater investment was to help competitive providers streamline the process to get access to BT's fiber duct facilities.

For more:
- Reuters has this article

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