7/10/2009 10:21:00 AM
BT calls for Carter’s broadband tax to be extended to mobile phone users
BT has called for the government to extend its £6 broadband tax to mobile phone users at Westminster yesterday, in a move designed to reduce the tax, the Guardian reported.
The telecoms company reasoned that this should be considered, as the £1.5bn raised by the levy on fixed line customers would be used by both fixed line and mobile networks.
Lord Carter proposed the levy in his Digital Britain report last month. The communications minister, proposed a 50p-a-month levy on every fixed-line phone to meet the bill for getting the next generation of super-fast broadband networks to 90% of UK households by 2017.
Talking at a Westminster Media Forum debate on Digital Britain, BT's director of industry policy and regulation, Emma Gilthorpe, said yesterday that if mobile operators did go through that bid process then ‘the government should consider the opportunity to widen the base for the tax and possibly reduce the amount that each individual household pays’.
BT also announced it would speed up its introduction of the next-generation network. The telecoms company said yesterday that it would have 1.5m homes connected by next summer a jump from initial predictions of half a million by next March.
Meanwhile, there is speculation over the success of Carter’s broadband tax, as it would require a new finance bill, this is unlikely to appear before next March. By then the government will be focused on the forthcoming general election and a new tax on consumers is unlikely to win votes.