Digital Britain brings £6 levy to pay for national broadband
Every home with a telephone could be hit with a £6 levy in new plans by the government outlined in its Digital Britain report go ahead.
The new annual "internet tax" will be used to create an independent national fund to allow increased coverage of broadband services across the country to 2MB by 2012.
The "Next Generation Access", as it will be known, is designed to give Broadband providers like BT subsidies when it comes to installing broadband in hard to reach or uneconomic areas of the country.
According to Ben Bradshaw, the new culture secretary, while around 50% of the UK population should be able to receive next generation access (NGA) broadband by the end of 2012 rising to 60-70% depending on consumer demand, for higher speed broadband services the final third will be left to wallow in a technology abyss.
The aim therefore is to use the levy investment to "deliver a more rapid and extensive roll-out of NGA across the UK without distorting competition in the broadband market" to allow "both businesses and consumers to have a faster, more reliable and higher quality broadband".
The government is hoping that a connected Britain will in turn mean a more productive one allowing people to "tele-work" in rural areas.
The UK government also announced plans to switch off the analogue radio signal by 2015, 3 years after its current plans for analogue TV signals which are due to be completely turned off by 2012.