Broadband tax for all telephone account holders

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  • Broadband tax for all telephone account holders
  • so it is uneconomical for the tax payer to front up for the service but you think a commercial entity will do it?

    there is no way a company will spend tens of thousands installing infrastructure to provide broadband for 5 users who’ll be paying £15 a month or whatever.

    Cellular communication is pretty much line of sight only, do you want a mast on the corner of every head of every valley in the country? the planning authorities certainly don’t! Some rural communities don’t even get terrestrial broadcast analogue OR digital.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Affordable 3.5G access?? Most ‘remote’ places don’t even get a normal GSM signal, but they will have land lines.

    ziggy
    Member

    Welcome to privatisation, if BT were still public I believe all those would have already had broadband in. (unless of course BT engineers were striking over pay and conditions or any other reason they can think of)

    Will the tax stay at £6.00? Will it be hypothecated just for this purpose contrary to the treasury’s stance on any other tax in this country? Will it remain on landlines or will it be extended over time to include mobiles? We have to be very careful agreeing to any new tax as once its in place it tempting for governments to abuse it.

    The tax will raise £150 million per year. Cost of taking land line broadband to those parts of the country that don’t already have it is £3 billion.

    This is cynical revenue raising exercise.

    i’d imagine the funds would be used to encourage commercial investment.

    it’s a tricky subject though, there needs to be a lot of discussion about whether access to high speed internet is a ‘right’ or just a convenience. access to a telephone is pretty much a right in law but the groundwork for that infrastructure was done (badly) by the state in the form of the post office then BT

    i’d imagine the funds would be used to encourage commercial investment.

    How is £150 million a year going to encourage any commercial investment of £3 billion?

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    Welcome to privatisation, if BT were still public I believe all those would have already had broadband in. (unless of course BT engineers were striking over pay and conditions or any other reason they can think of)

    So we’d all have already paid the tax to cover it (well actually 20 times as much if the figures above are true).

    The issue I have with this is the one mmw mentions – if it’s not commercially viable to supply broadband to these people, then what right do they have to get it? The latest I saw was that some significant percentage of the population won’t get broadband even if provided free, so it’s obviously still possible to survive quite happily without (I certainly could, though I’d not be able to do some things I do – but then if I couldn’t get broadband I’d probably not miss these things).

    Spongebob
    Member

    The government are going to tax us all an additional £6 per annum to enable everyone in the UK to receive broadband. Well who cares about £6 a year, but why shouldn’t private firms make the investment to get people in no service areas hooked up? They would then get a their investment back in customer fees wouldn’t they?

    I know it is uneconomic to get appreciable broadband speeds to certain locations over telephone wires, but aren’t we on the cusp of a breakthrough in affordable 3.5g internet access? Cellular communications infrastucture is relatively cheap (that’s why they have this sort of technology in developing countries in preference to a cable infrstructure).

    Are the mobile telecommunications companies not already making a fortune out of us? I hope they won’t be getting any cash handouts!

    I wonder how clued up the government advisors are. I bet we have paid an arm and a leg for out of date information.

    I’ll hazard a guess that we tax payers will end up paying for hugely costly new telephone exchanges for a light smattering of dwellings by the time a cheaper alternative is already available. I am cynically surmising on this, but does anyone know what type of infrastructure the proposed taxes will actually fund?

    Will the tax be withdrawn when the networks are up and running? (Yeah right!)

    I wonder what unreasonable tax we should expect next.

    Spongebob
    Member

    We have to be very careful agreeing to any new tax as once its in place it tempting for governments to abuse it.

    Erm, did we get a vote on it?

    I’m sure a lot of homes can’t get fast enough broadband because of the 1000’s of miles of rusty CW1308 (twisted pair multi-core cables which BT use). The existing infrastructure needs replacing in a lot of areas.

    I don’t see why we have to pay for people who can’t get fast broadband! I don’t see internet access as a fundamental right. Next we will be paying additional tax to fund all the people who can’t afford broadband!! This is a nonsense.

    The solution for small communities is wirless relay, microwave links. Lots of aerials is a smal price to pay and of there are so few population, it’s no big deal anyway. Digging up roads etc is way too costly.

    If it isn’t viable to connect some areas, maybe the huge telcos should be forced to factor these handful of omissions into their overall infrastructure.

    Spongebob
    Member

    GrahamS – Member

    Affordable 3.5G access?? Most ‘remote’ places don’t even get a normal GSM signal, but they will have land lines. 3.5g access costs £7 a month in addition to a standard Vodafone contract. That’s affordable in my book! It’s going to get cheaper too, i’m sure.

    Remote places that already have a telephone can’t get a broadband connection at a sensible speed. The limitation is the distance the access point is from the local BT exchange. If you are too far away, you ain’t getting it. So you would need to build an exchange and lay fibre to this from the existing network. If houses were spread out, you would need to build extra exchanges. So are we saying one lone house would get it’s own exchange? That would be barmy (whoever pays)! Wireless infrastructure is the only practicable solution, even if it’s some sort of WIMAX relay arrangement.

    Come on you TELCO boffins, tell exactly what the latest hardware is.

    Premier Icon NZCol
    Subscriber

    I think you have to ask yourself WHY remote areas have landlines ?
    Its because they got them when the ‘telco’ was a state service and therefore not beholden to shareholders.
    Now it is and they treat it as a business – because that what it is now. No matter what happens they will not be loss leading on remote areas to make people happy. Unless they are forced to.
    If they had not been state services in the first place you wouldn’t have land lines !

    grumm
    Member

    if it’s not commercially viable to supply broadband to these people, then what right do they have to get it?

    Yeah because allowing ‘the market’ to decide what services people have available is a great way of doing things isn’t it. Like it or not, places like the Hebrides are heavily subsidised, I suppose because it’s felt important to protect their way of life etc – I think that’s a good thing personally and I’m glad that naked market forces aren’t allowed to decide everything.

    Not having broadband is also quite a big hindrance to anyone trying to run a business in rural areas, and given the efforts to prevent rural unemployment and depopulation etc, it’s quite important. Or should everyone just move to a city?

    nbt
    Member

    I was just listening to this article on the news and the first things that struck me was “how long before some townie starts complaining about subsidising those in the country?”

    WHere do you think your food comes from, mate? No people in the country = no food in town, unless you import it and then it gets really expensive. Jeezus, £6 is about two pints and a packet of crisps, not exactly breaking the bank. 50p per month on an annual contract.

    I find it amusing that if the govt encourages enterprise, they’re slagged off for being Tories and if they try to raise money by taxation they’re slagged off for being Old Labour public spenders. £6 isn’t going to break the bank is it ? It’s worth about 12 Daily Mails, I’m sure most of you can go without those.

    AdamM
    Member

    £6 is about two pints and a packet of crisps

    LOL! Clearly you’re not in London where £6 will only get you one pint a packet of crisps in most pubs.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    I was just listening to this article on the news and the first things that struck me was “how long before some townie starts complaining about subsidising those in the country?”

    Would the townie complaining be me? 😯

    Of course most of those places in the country which make your food (not very far from here it’s known as the “Garden of England”) actually have perfectly fine broadband access.

    Not having broadband is also quite a big hindrance to anyone trying to run a business in rural areas

    Really? What sort of business needs broadband access?

    grumm
    Member

    Really? What sort of business needs broadband access?

    Come on, it’s really not that hard to work out is it?

    How about web design and graphic design companies for starters. Also, any idea on how quickly e-commerce is growing? Lots of businesses would be put at a huge disadvantage by not having broadband.

    ziggy
    Member

    Err well my business does, LBS, b2b is vital, saves time and money.

    Not much food grown round these parts either, think you’ll find if you go to your local supermarket alot of food is imported anyway, because it’s cheaper.

    timber
    Member

    apologies as I have skim-read some of this

    As someone who lives and works in rural areas I am quite up for this
    More services are encouraging you to deal with them online, and whilst web developers develop in the city on high speed links, sat in our office when it was on wires we’d wait half an hour for a page to load due to loads of pictures and flash. Moving our whole yard into town wasn’t an option, so we now have a shaky satellite link, subsidised by the organisation because as a property it blows our budget. And as for mobile network, the best we get is texts on Orange, if you stand on the roof

    as said above, if BT wasn’t privatised, we wouldn’t have this seperate tax, it would just be being done.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    as said above, if BT wasn’t privatised, we wouldn’t have this seperate tax, it would just be being done.

    …and as I replied last time, the only difference is that you’d never know you were being taxed for it – and the tax would be a lot more.

    Sure web design and graphics needs broadband – but you’d think anybody doing that might either decide to set up somewhere you can get broadband (it’s hardly like it’s confined just to big cities), or manage to pay themselves to get something sorted. Meanwhile you certainly don’t need broadband to do e-commerce (you’d be surprised how much of the web is still low bandwidth – running flashblocker for instance also cuts down a lot). Anyway the point I was replying to said “anyone trying to run a business in a rural area”. Makes me wonder how anything at all got done before the internet.

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
    Subscriber

    guilty of skim-reading too but couldn’t resist a contribution. Some of you sound a bit luddite here. Not that long ago many people would have thought a land line was not essential but I suspect that proportion has decreased markedly. Broadband will be is going the same way. And why not? My ISP is investing in up to 20Mb lines which I will get for no extra charge, so I don’t mind 50p a month to extend the broadband network. More IP telephony = cheaper call costs. Yay!

    not exactly breaking the bank. 50p per month on an annual contract.

    £6 isn’t going to break the bank is it ?

    Once this tax is in place do you honestly think that its going to stay at £6 and all be spent on broadband expansion? If so I think you’re being naïve

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
    Subscriber

    Once this tax is in place do you honestly think that its going to stay at £6 and all be spent on broadband expansion? If so I think you’re being naïve

    There never seems to be a middle ground between cynical and naive does there? 😕

    timber
    Member

    Our woodland plan is only available online from the FC’s server, on the days we can connect, it is possible to clear half a pack of biscuits waiting for a page. If we don’t stick to the plan, which they like to revise every so often, we don’t get our payments and risk fines. So I would say a connection is essential to our work being carried out.
    Could you take a day out of all your work to look at a couple of ammendments.

    This situation isn’t helped by bad software, bureacracy and lack of a hard copy.

    It’s taking the p***. i already have a very reliable 10 mb fibre broad band. Why should i pay for everyone else.

    Sod you jack i’m all right…

    i think those that say Broadband is not a necessity have perhaps not been forced to live without it. You are effectively withdrawn from what now accounts a massive proportion of b2b and b2c communications. Banks and other services are making it harder and harder to conduct your day to day transactions in any other way. you are pretty much denied access to a large proportion of retail choice. the government constantly pushes the web as the best way to get information and conduct your business with them and cannot do this if a large proportion of the population are denied access to it.

    this is only my opinion based on personal experience.

    Premier Icon Trekster
    Subscriber

    In Spain eg you can go into a corner shop in a mountainside village and there are net terminals, ditti Slovenia. Why/how not here?

    mrmichael is correct

    but how are people like my parents, pensioners with only the state pension as income expected to cope with ever increasing food and fuel bills? Does that mean all those without a pc are going to be given a pc in the same way as they are getting free digi boxes or in most cases having to upgrade tvs?

    I know lots of people who cannot afford to go out and buy a pc never mind having to then subscribe to a provider.

    It is a problem the affluent people are taking for granted that the old cliche of “anyone/everyone can” etc

    It’s the lack of ambition that really grates on me about this levy. While South Korea, Japan and erm France power ahead with 100MBit Broadband in cities, we’re still talking about a maximum of 50Mbit by 2017.

    Of course there is the argument of what do we need all that bandwidth for? But surely it’s best to have spare capacity for future expansion, such as streaming Hi Def video content for example.

    I am sure that the bulk of the levy will go to plug the budget deficit that Brown has saddled around our necks and then into a bottomless pit like the NHS or MOD.

    We don’t need another tax, the Government just need to take a long hard look at all of the money that is being wasted by Government departments first……

    because in their infinite wisdom the government installed a twisted pair infrastructure, most of mainland europe uses a coax system to a certain extent (it think)

    this may have something to do with a lot of the infrastructure having to be re-instated after WWII in mainland Europe (bit like the railways) but that is conjecture on my part

    Premier Icon Trekster
    Subscriber

    jimer

    there was an article on the South Korea 100bit internet supply on tv recently

    it is not working, still no better than here apparently.

    Test by journos was being done in a new hotel advertising said 100bit but journos download times were still no better than “normal”

    woodey
    Member

    “because in their infinite wisdom the government installed a twisted pair infrastructure, most of mainland europe uses a coax system to a certain extent (it think)”

    Nope, copper all over europe

    There never seems to be a middle ground between cynical and naive does there?

    Given what we know about our politicians I think being on the cynical side is being more realistic.

    andywhit
    Member

    >Of course there is the argument of what do we need all that bandwidth for?

    3D pr0n ?

    Nope, copper all over europe

    i stand corrected, i was misinformed

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    i think those that say Broadband is not a necessity have perhaps not been forced to live without it.

    I’d suggest those who say it is a necessity are missing the point that you can do most things on the web with dial-up. These people aren’t without any sort of web access at all – in fact a lot can get 0.5Mb/s broadband, this exercise is simply to enable them to get 2Mb/s. I certainly used the internet on dial-up until a few years ago, and only had 1Mb/s until 6 months ago, and despite what some seem to think, it does all still work, it’s just a little slower. STW works fine on dial-up (especially if you do things I’m not allowed to discuss here), so what exactly is the problem?

    but how are people like my parents, pensioners with only the state pension as income expected to cope with ever increasing food and fuel bills?

    What has that got to do with broadband? As I keep saying, those who don’t use computers can keep on living in much the same way as they always have. The web simply provides more choices – maybe they don’t have access to these, but it’s not like more traditional options are being taken away (last time I checked, the little rural town I live near still has bank branches, supermarkets, clothes shops, etc.)

    oldgit
    Member

    Sod broadband, I’m still waiting to get Channel 5.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    Don’t worry oldgit – you’re not missing much.

    Spongebob
    Member

    Look guys, there is no justification for taxing users for this project – period! It’s just nonsense! There are far more important issues that need addressing!

    I bet the tax has come about because of the high number of affected people come from the same part of the country as most of the Labour cabinet do.

    The money they will get is not small beer and I bet that only a fraction of it will actually go towards solving the problem. We’ll be paying this forever i’m sure.

    Ofcom should be cajoling these companys into providing coverage for most homes. The government could make this happen without this arbitrary tax!

    Just more bullsit Labour tax waste!

    Premier Icon Teetosugars
    Subscriber

    Cellular communication is pretty much line of sight only

    Errr, no its not..

    Microwave is line of site.. celluar can, and mostly is, set up to be omni-directional, hence the need for 3 Antennas on each headframe set at 120 degs spacing…

    Imagine a Merc/ CND badge…

    Oh, and yes, the more people that use it means more structures- due to capacity capability of each individual site., So eventually that means more sites..

    However, there are a few things in the pipeline that are changing this…

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    “Cellular communication is pretty much line of sight only”
    Errr, no its not..

    Errr, yes it is (I know I’m not supposed to say “I’m an engineer” on here, but am I allowed to point out given the context that I’m a radio communications engineer?)

    Omni-directional and line of sight aren’t mutually exclusive.

    Premier Icon Teetosugars
    Subscriber

    Hang on so your saying GSM Antennas only can work if they can see each other??

    [devils advocate]

    Why should I pay a tax to a company that used to be nationalised to provide new services to those that only have a service because it was nationalised in the first place?

    Does that mean i’ll have to start paying a train tax because they are starting to resurrect the old derelict British rail branch lines of the 60’s?

    [/ devils advocate]

    what i’m rather clumsily trying to say is that its not nationalised any more and thats the choice that was made, and we have to live with the consequences.

    Network rail are picking up the tab for upgrading the rail infrastructure and passing costs onto the consumer in the form of higher fares, not a tax as such but if you dont want to travel by train you dont have to.

    so, what form will the tax take and does it only affect broadband users or actually those with fixed-line telephony?

    If it was up to me i’d horse my landline and live off the mobile, using the fixed line only for broadband but I can’t do that.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    Hang on so your saying GSM Antennas only can work if they can see each other??

    Kind of. In reality you’ll get a signal when the antennas can’t “see” each other in an optical sense, as things which are opaque to light aren’t totally opaque to radio waves – just kind of translucent which means the radio waves will be attenuated, hence you can’t go through lots of that sort of stuff. Also you can sometimes get links by reflection. What you won’t get is any sort of over the horizon reception – you don’t get that with anything higher frequency than HF, for which the available bandwidth is far worse than the worst dial-up (HF goes up to 30MHz – GSM is 900MHz or 1800MHz, ie UHF).

    woodey
    Member

    This is about addressing what is called the “Digital Divide”, all major developed coutries are doing the same things. The main reasons are:

    1) Key research bodies (eg. OECD) have clearly showed the correlation between the economic success of areas and the access of businesses and citizens to broadband. Many businesses in our rural areas may start losing out to competitors abroad if we fall behind. It is also important in attracting inward investment (ie. jobs) to poorer areas.

    2) Education: Access to broadband is increasingly important for children (not just at school, also for homework). If a kid in london has access to broadband at a decent speed and his counterpart in a rural area only has access to dial-up (always sh*t performance) the rural kid will be increasingly disadvanted in the coming years.

    3) Goverment services: More and more of these will become exclusively online, many will be time sensitive and dial-up is NOT sufficient.

    And on another note we have across England, in general, the fastest broadband speeds in Europe: FACT

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