Friday, September 24, 2010

UK - Debate over the taxes applied to fibre optic broadband networks continue in govt

[isp review] Rory Stewart, the governments Conservative MP for Penrith (Cumbria), has revealed that the UK Treasury and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) are still debating how best to tackle the taxes on new Next Generation Access (NGA) fibre optic based broadband networks.

The news is surprising because, back in August 2010, the Minister for Communications, Culture and the Creative Industries, Ed Vaizey, scrapped an earlier pledge to review the controversial tax (here) on new fibre optic lines (Fibre Tax) and introduced new guidance instead. He did however leave the door open for more discussion.

Sadly the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) guidance, which effectively introduced a £20 tax on all homes that receive their NGA broadband from a non-BT network, did little to address the underlying imbalance. This leads to smaller ISPs paying significantly more to lay fibre optic broadband than the bigger operators like BT and Virgin Media UK.

UK Government Still Debating NGA Fibre Optic Broadband Taxation

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