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UK broadband tax could impact on customer numbers

Charles Dunston, the chief executive of TalkTalk, has today spoken out against the UK government's proposed broadband tax which could in total cost each and every UK home around £42 a year. The tax would bring in around £1 billion for the UK government but could, according to Charles Dunston, see 100,000 poorer families unable to cover the cost and effectively disconnect from the Internet.

This is totally at odds with the UK government's idea for the UK broadband sector, with plans to roll out Internet connectivity to all parts of the UK, including the most rural areas. If those at the lower end of the income scale have to disconnect from the Internet because of the cost this will create a chasm between the haves and have-nots, reversing a situation which has emerged in the UK which allows both high-income and low-income families to connect to the Internet relatively cheaply.

While it is difficult to know exactly which strategy to use with regards to expanding the UK broadband network there is obviously a need to address the problems of low-income families who will be disadvantaged in so many ways if unable to afford the overall package. This is a problem which the UK government and the Internet sector will need to resolve sooner rather than later.

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