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Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Proposal to solve the property tax issue

I've been following the property tax on fibre issue since the beginning of this century. Other countries have dealt with the problem by scrapping the tax entirely (Korea, Holland etc) to encourage investment in fibre and FTTH, but here in the UK, the Treasury has not seen fit to do so, thereby stymying investment. I have a proposal for a solution to the problem.....

If you are confused by fibre tax, there are several VOA links to follow to increase any confusion:
VOA Practice note 2005

Practice Note 2010

(Aside: anyone got Michael Hetherington's email address???)


The eNdGAme has to be to have open access to fibre. This would allow us to deploy the minimum amount of new fibre to get Fibre To Every Home and Business, use existing fibre, and get maximum benefits, not just for the consumer, but for those who invest or have invested in deploying. It is environmentally friendly, best practice and bloody sound common sense to deploy what is required rather than duplicating, as we have permitted with mobile phone masts etc. The Victorians didn't allow competitors to build railways or canals next to each other and we shouldn't either with fibre optic networks.

However, at present, property tax makes no distinction between fibre which is open or fibre which is private. It screws everyone alike.

So, it's easy, innit?

If you plan to invest in deploying fibre, or already have fibre, and it is OPEN, then zero property tax. If you have fibre that others cannot use, or plan to deploy fibre which is closed, then you pay double.

The Treasury will get loads of dosh from Branson, councils,and the like, (who may be persuaded to change their (closed) minds if we hit them in the wallet), whilst those who are wise enough to see the benefits of deploying open fibre can get on with it without the crippling property tax.


And you heard it here first......;o) (like the FTTH / NGA cereal packet, amongst other things)


Cyberdoyle said...

yep, you can usually hit the nail on the head first. Unfortunately it takes others years to catch on. I hope this time I am proved wrong... wouldn't it be great if they scrapped the tax, whoohoo we would be in with a chance of doing what BT is failing to do, and getting next gen built for our next gen.

Cybersavvy UK said...

Property tax is one of the biggest problems for anyone looking to invest in ftth, cyberdoyle. After all, the tech is mature, and other countries have succeeded already where we haven't actually begun to experiment.

This is not about building it for our next gen. It is about solving this problem for the current gen. The old gen in telcos (you know who you are, guys!!) should be helping to solve this problem, once and for all, for our children and grandchildren THROUGH US, the present gen.

Cyberdoyle said...

I agree. Other countries have begun to lay it because they don't have the fantastic phone infrastructure that we have. Thanks to the Victorian's innovation we have been lucky to have a superb infrastructure for voice comms. Unfortunately we are now expecting this legacy equipment to deliver what it can't. Other countries don't have the temptation so they build new. We have to do the same, but OFCOM and BT see that there is still profit to be made from the legacy network as long as they can convince non techie govt that it is adequate. It is our job to remove the blinkers. easier said than done.