50p Broadband Tax, gone …….. but not forgotten !Posted: April 8, 2010 | |
I won’t get bogged down with talking about the digital economy bill or whatever other title’s that have been thrown about for what is effectively the EU Data Retention Directive re-packaged to suit the British Government. I can’t, as an ISP, I’m too close to it and the outcome of whatever does eventually pass through law effects not only my company but my clients and end users as well. When the time is right however, you will hear my thoughts !
What I can talk about though is this 50p line rental tax. What Labour proposes is that a tax of 50p per month per line is strapped onto every phone line in the UK, the money it says will fuel a new super fast broadband product available to all, well not quite superfast….. What we are actually talking about here is 2meg minimum in rural areas (that is anyone not in a ‘big’ city)
It’s wrong for a number of reasons
1. It taxes the many to benefit the few, let me expand ; Why should my grandmother pay £6 additional per year so I can have a 2meg broadband connection in Moira (which I already have) when she never has or never will use broadband.
2. 2meg, WTF? Who is this going to really benefit from this? We need to be encouraging young start ups and others to ‘work from home’ if we are going to get anywhere with the traffic in our cities and the wider pollution problems that arise from half the population trucking into our cities for the 9to5 slog. The net is moving fast, 2 meg is a few years will be as good as dial up is now.
3. What about upload speeds ? No mention of course ! With a 2 meg download speed, you will be around 350kb/400kb 500kb (at best!) upload speed, what use is that to anyone trying to use the net for business?
4. Going back to point 1, why should people be paying this tax on their phone bill ? Surely the tax (if there is any) should be strapped onto the broadband charge, I would pay an extra £10 or £15 PER MONTH to have a decent broadband connection at home (where I run my business from).
5. What about people on cable ? They get away scot free, many cable broadband users dont have a phone line to use broadband as there is no need.
6. The only reason for the tax is to role out broadband to areas where operators like BT deem it to be ‘not commercially viable’ Since when did we start backing up ISPs with cash when there business model shows no merit ? If I could get away with that, sure why would I bother with real customers !?
7. For a business this adds up to a large amount of cash, as in public buildings there is any amount of phone lines and back up phone lines needed to service phones, alarms, broadband and lifts.
Rant over, the proposed tax has been scrapped, yeeha ! Well not quite, It has only been scrapped in the interim as parliament has been dissolved and they are all out campaigning their asses off.
If the Conservatives take Government, they will not introduce it instead taking the money out of the TV license budget (much in the way TV deployment was taken from the Radio license budget) but it Labour get back into power, you can bet your ass this will back on the table.