The Digital Britain Report has already stressed that the UK desperately needs to speed up the evolution of its broadband nationwide, both in terms of coverage and speed. So this shouldn't help...
The government has confirmed that it plans to win hearts and minds by charging a £6 per year 'broadband tax' which it hopes to introduce before the next general election. The 50p per month levy will apply to all UK phone lines and will raise between £150m and £175m per year which will be used to fund development of broadband networks over the next seven years.
The problem is the whole idea is moronic. Yes it is not a large amount of money, but in context neither is the amount raised. After all, BT said last September that the price to create a nationwide fibre optic broadband infrastructure (something Virgin already has with its cable network incidentally) was estimated at £28.8 billion. So what is £175m going to get you? Angry voters and one happy fibre optic village populated by speed freaks?!
Even more shambolic is that the Conservatives have said they aren't convinced by the tax and may well scrap it if/when they get into power (which is looking increasingly likely). This means the £6 tax setup costs could be completely wasted should the government change just a few months later. So all this is helping develop UK broadband how?!