Feeds

Broadband tax scrapped in 'wash-up'

Celebrate with cider

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

The Tories forced the government to drop a 50p-a-month tax on every landline last night as ministers made deals to get their budget plans through before the election.

The levy had been intended to pay for rollout of fibre optic cables in rural areas.

The Conservatives hailed the outcome as a "victory for consumers". The measure had been the centrepiece of last year's "Digital Britain" report.

The government folded because it is under pressure to pass remaining legislation this week in a bout of legislative horse-trading known as the "wash-up". Opposition parties use the scramble to win concessions, although it is unusual for the government to drop parts of the Finance Bill.

The Tories want market forces to have more time to spread faster broadband technologies. They have suggested that part of the BBC licence fee - the surplus from the digital switchover - could be diverted later.

The government had planned to use the broadband tax to create a £175m-a-year subsidy pot. BT has claimed there is not enough demand in about a third of the country to justify a commercial rollout.

Both parties aim for ubiquitous fibre optics by the end of the decade.

The Treasury was also last night forced to abandon plans to raise the duty on cider, announced only two weeks ago in Alistair Darling's last budget of this Parliament. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.