Mandelson begins broadband tax consultation
Business secretary puts wheels in motion on key Digital Britain recommendation.
Business secretary Lord Peter Mandelson launched a 12-week consultation with telecommunications companies and internet providers this week to finalise how proceeds from the Next Generation Fund should be spent.
The fund, one of the key recommendations of last year’s Digital Britain report, will be paid for by a 50p per month landline duty, to be collected annually. The Next Generation Fund aims to support the report’s proposal to roll out a super high-speed broadband network to at least 90% of the UK’s population by 2017.
According to the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, relying solely on private sector investment would only see a next-generation broadband network reaching 70% of the population by that date. The fund would also help secure a further key Digital Britain recommendation to establish a base universal broadband speed of 2Mbps by 2012.