June 17, 2017
In an effort to raise money for the Government’s plan to increase the speed and ease of internet connections, every resident and business with a phone line will be taxed an additional 50p per month.
This will aid in raising £175 million per year towards the total projected figure of £1.5 billion needed for improvements to broadband networks.
According to the Digital Britain report, Lord Carter, the communications minister, will divert some of the money from this tax increase, about £200m, in order to help increase broadband coverage to every UK citizen by the year 2012, with minimum speeds of 2mbp.
Carter also plans to continue to divert funds after this to provide for children’s programming and local news, which are being reduced as television advertising revenue decreases, a move that has met with resistance by the BBC.
Sir Michael Lyons, the BBC Trust chairmen spoke out against Carter’s plans by stating that the Government should not be expected to blindly sit and watch the funds be diverted as it is not a public fund that is open to access at will.
Lyons is concerned that this will lead to license fees for accessing video and music online, which is a topic that has been highly debated lately, since the funding for the matter will be depleted if Carter’s plans are carried out.
Carter responded by saying that he is not advocating the increase in license fees, but that the funds to support his causes noted above need to come from somewhere and as it is public money it should be put towards public funding efforts.