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

More from The Register

next story
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts
New sub cable to go live 2016
EE coughs to BROKEN data usage metrics BLUNDER that short-changes customers
Carrier apologises for 'inflated' measurements cockup
Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS
The others guys are being mean so therefore ... monopoly all good, yeah?
Surprise: if you work from home you need the Internet
Buffer-rage sends Aussies out to experience road rage
EE buys 58 Phones 4u stores for £2.5m after picking over carcass
Operator says it will safeguard 359 jobs, plans lick of paint
MOST iPhone strokers SPURN iOS 8: iOS 7 'un-updatening' in 5...4...
Guess they don't like our battery-draining update?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.