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Friday, 26 June 2009

Broadband Poll Tax

The injustice of the £6 per line annual broadband tax as proposed in Lord Carter’s Digital Britain Report is that it is applied to copper fixed line rental, a.k.a. dial tone, rather than to broadband itself.

As well as being regressive and a most unwelcome extra burden in the currently depressed UK Economy, this taxation is also wrong headed - put simply, why should people who don’t want broadband subsidise those who do?

By analogy, Carter’s Broadband Tax is like taxing Jews, Moslems and Veggies to subsidise the price of pork (…barrels?)

- a proposition that would certainly draw howls of protest, so why should the matter of broadband be treated any differently?

Whilst universal broadband choice is laudable and something that FibreStream exists to enable, setting out to achieve this outcome by applying taxation to those who do not necessarily want broadband is simply inequitable discrimination

- nothing less than the tyranny of the majority against the minority, often the Elderly and the least well-off members of Society, hardly an exemplar of caring Socialism in action.

If Carter’s Broadband Tax is instead targeted fairly at existing broadband subscribers, both fixed line and mobile, then those who do not wish to take broadband service would not be penalised for having a conventional phone line, in order to subsidise those who do.

An inevitable, perhaps unintended, outcome of this regressive tax will be a marked increase in mobile broadband uptake at the expense of fixed line services which will result in the total revenues from fixed line services dwindling rapidly away.

Say No! to the Broadband Poll Tax

Also posted at FibreStream Blog

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