Connected Research

Union policy research in the 21st century

Broadband levy back on track

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The BBC website today is reporting that Stephen Timms, the Minister for Digital Britain, has told a meeting organised by the British Computer Society that the 50p month broadband levy, designed to raise funds to assist with the roll-out of broadband to areas which, left to its own devices, the market would not supply, would be law ‘before the next election’.

This is in contrast to previous rumours circulating during August that the levy was to be dropped (see earlier post).

Despite likely Conservative opposition, the levy would be part of a forthcoming Finance Bill on the basis that:

We want to make high speed networks nationally available. The next-generation fund will help that and we will legislate for it this side of a general election.

Connect supports the concept of the levy on the basis of the need to extend high speed broadband services throughout the country on a socially cohesive basis, although we do have some comments to make about its coverage  and dimensions.

A copy of Timms’s remarks is not yet available on the BIS website, nor is there any reference to his remarks, or to the meeting concerned, on the BCS website.

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Written by Calvin

23/09/2009 at 3:40 pm

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