Sunday, 2 August 2009
If the property tax for NGA domestic and CATV (cable TV) is £7.50 per home passed (HP) per year, (let's leave aside the £250/Rkm for each fibre lit for the moment, though that figure makes my argument even more obvious), and the new proposed 50p levy will raise £6 per household per annum, then why not just waive the property tax to stimulate FTTH?
Never mind how much it will take to administer the fund and collect the levy, imagine if you (that's a rather royal 'we' when talking about this government!) just said, "No property tax on (rural) properties -business and domestic- passed, and connected, just get on with rolling out superfast broadband (in rural areas)."
Because rural needs to be first, and there is standard classification of rural and remote, it's not difficult to work out how to make that happen and encourage the FTTH players to be attracted to rural areas. Oh, better spell it out I guess....waive the property tax first on Significant Rural, Rural-50 and Rural-80 eg anywhere with a population less than 37000. Why? Because all the urban places are considered low hanging fruit to the telcos and there isn't really any issue about market failure there with NGA.
And if connecting rural homes and businesses promotes investment, (which there is plenty of evidence from other countries far in advance of us to prove it) and we can then watch the economic impact on rural areas (which will of course hence create jobs for consultants and quangos to gather the hard data and evidence that such is the case), then it will accelerate the roll-out of FTTH nationwide....and the government will coin it in from economic regeneration, innovation, new businesses, income tax etc.
See, tis easy this joined up thinking lark. And remember.... you heard it here first!