Carter: Broadband tax is the only option

UK communications minister Lord Carter has defended plans to levy a £6-a-year tax (E7.1) on every phone line to raise up to £1.5 billion to help pay for the next generation of super-fast internet networks, as the most transparent way of investing in a critical part of Britain’s infrastructure.

Having looked at the investment plans of the two companies putting money into the networks – Virgin Media and BT – he concluded they would reach only 60 per cent of the population. “If we as a country want to have a new-built fixed infrastructure and the market will not pay for it, where is it going to come from? If we don’t want it, we don’t have to pay for it. If we do want it, then we do have to pay for it.”

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