A government proposal to charge people with fixed phone lines 50p (E0.57) per month to help fund ultra-fast broadband has been condemned as “unfair” by MPs.
The cross-party Business Innovation and Skills Committee said most of those who would pay the tax would not benefit from the faster broadband service. The focus should be on providing basic broadband for all and allowing markets to deliver higher speeds, it said.
The government said the plan was the “best way to drive further investment”. It maintains that faster speeds are “vital to the UK’s growth”.
However, the committee argued: “We believe that a 50p levy placed on fixed telecommunication lines is an ill-directed charge. It will place a disproportionate cost on a majority who will not, or are unable to, reap the benefits of that charge.”