Feeds

Tories mull broadband tax breaks

And force BT to make it available to all

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

BT could be forced to ensure that broadband is available to everyone in the UK as part of a beefed-up universal service obligation (USO).

It's just one of the ideas Tory MP and Shadow Minister for Trade & Industry, Michael Fabricant, is looking at to help accelerate the roll-out of broadband in the UK.

Mr Fabricant is also mulling the idea of cross subsidies and tax breaks to help bring broadband to rural areas.

Speaking to The Register, Mr Fabricant said: "We need to guarantee much faster speeds to subscribers. I am currently looking at ways we might speed up the roll-out of true broadband.

"In very remote areas, satellite and wireless networks are available, but these alternative platforms have their disadvantages and are more costly than cable.

"It may be necessary to cross-subsidise services and impose a universal supply obligation on BT. Alternatively, tax breaks might be offered as an additional incentive," he said.

At the moment there's little indication as to when the Conservatives might publish their plans for bringing broadband to rural areas. But Mr Fabricant appears sure of one thing: "I am concerned, however, that existing broadband users should not have to pay more for their service."

The idea of forcing the UK's incumbent telco to make broadband universally available is nothing new. Last year, for example, IT industry entrepreneur Bob Jones called on the telecoms regulator to make broadband universally available to all in the UK.

At the time he said: "It's time to revive the old concept of universal service - providing telephone lines to everyone - with regard to broadband.

"Cellular companies have to provide service to over 95 per cent of the population as a condition for their licences - [the regulator] should extend this requirement to BT if it wants to prevent a two-speed business Britain," said Jones.

But earlier this year, e-minister Stephen Timms effectively ruled out extending the USO to broadband saying that the matter had been "considered" before deciding that "it is not yet justified".

The Government has also rejected in the past ideas for tax breaks to help roll-out broadband. ®

Related Stories

Rural areas face widening BB digital divide
Make broadband universally available
Oftel ducks making broadband mandatory

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs
Zero, not infinity, is the Magic Number customers want
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
NBN Co execs: No FTTN product until 2015
Faster? Not yet. Cheaper? No data
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.