TalkTalk calls government free PC plans 'inconsistent'

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TalkTalk has called Government plans to give free computer and broadband access to low income families "deeply muddled thinking" as other proposals will see them having to pay out for the privilege.

The ISP has become very outspoken when it comes to the Government's funding for updating the UK's broadband infrastructure specifically the broadband tax which is currently going through a 12-week investigation and it believes previous initiatives are diminishing the benefit of any scheme like this.

"The Prime Minister's announcement that 270,000 low income families will receive a free computer and free broadband access betrays some deeply muddled thinking," the company said in a statement.

"No-one would dispute that getting low income families online is a good thing. But the Government's other initiatives are working to discourage uptake and make internet access unaffordable for hundreds of thousands of other families."

The company is referring specifically to the 50 pence broadband tax on all landlines as well as copyright protection which it claims will cost families an extra 30 a year to stay online.

This could lead to 600,000 "financially stretched" families having to give up their broadband, according to TalkTalk.

"We've always said that the phone tax is regressive and unfair and this latest announcement for all its superficial appeal demonstrates the inconsistency in the Government's approach rather well," continued the statement.

"This tax is not about getting people onto broadband it is about taxing everyone to allow the relatively well-off in rural areas to get super-fast speeds."

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.