Head of TalkTalk slams broadband tax


At least 100,000 homes will be forced to give up their internet connections if the 50 pence broadband tax is allowed to go through, according to the head of TalkTalk.

Charles Dunstone, chief executive of the internet service provider (ISP), believes low income homes will have to give up their broadband due to the 50 pence increase on all phone lines set to start in 2010.

In a statement on the company's website, Dunstone said: "This is an unjust and regressive tax on all phone customers which will subsidise mostly richer rural households that can afford high priced super fast broadband services."

He added: "As well as being unfair we estimate that the increase in price will mean that over 100,000 mostly low income homes will be forced to give up their broadband lines. This is wholly inconsistent with the government's plans to tackle digital exclusion by increasing uptake and use of broadband."

The broadband tax was first suggested in the Digital Britain report released by Lord Carter back in June this year. The 6-a-year tax to go on every landline aims to raise 1 billion to pay for the rollout of rural broadband across the UK.

However, the extra tax has caused controversy, with the Conservatives saying they would scrap it if they win the next general election and now the TalkTalk boss speaking out.

"To tax all phone customers is not even robbing Peter to pay Paul, it's just robbing Peter," Dunstone concluded.

The chief executive is set to present his views to the Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Committee in a meeting today.

Click here to read on and find out if we really need a broadband tax.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.