|Digital Britain ‘Saves up’ for Superfast Broadband with Landline Levy|
Outgoing UK government minister Lord Carter has published his ‘Digital Britain’ report; a review of policy recommendations aimed at encouraging – amongst other things – greater penetration of broadband services to all British citizens.
While its pre-announced target to achieve 100% penetration of 2Mbps services by 2012 had already been widely criticised for being extremely conservative (by contrast, South Korea has a target of 1,000Mbps by the same year), commentators were unprepared for other measures in the report. In particular, the controversial £6 annual tax on copper landlines, which will stockpile around £150m a year to ‘seedcorn fund’ the next generation of fibre-based superfast broadband services in under-served areas.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown declared that the report will make the UK ‘the broadband world leader’. There has been little consensus on that claim, although few could argue that the UK is at least stepping in the right direction and being somewhat innovative in doing so.
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