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£6 tax to fund broadband for all

Rural areas still unlikely to benefit from fibre

Brits with a copper telephone line will be forced to fork out £6 per year to fund the government's 2Mbps broadband-for-all plan.

In its Digital Britain report, which was released today, the government revealed it will use a combination of next-generation fibre broadband networks and wireless and satellite technology to ensure every UK resident has 2Mbps internet access.

Footing the bill to upgrade the UK's ageing copper network to high-speed fibre cables has been an issue for sometime. BT revealed last year that it was unlikely to fund the roll-out unless it would see a return on its investment, which has lead to the government's telephone line tax.

"We have concluded the fairest way is to use some of that saving ... in an independent national fund to ensure full coverage," said Ben Bradshaw, secretary of state for culture, media and sport.

BT told The Times that while next-generation fibre networks would be installed in urban areas, rural areas were still unlikely to benefit.

"We believe that the future is fibre, but it is only economically sensible for us to connect up the big cities and new-build houses; we're not expecting Digital Britain to help us to run fibre into rural areas," the ISP said.


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