Government U-Turn On High Speed Fibre Optic Network Pledge

The Director of convergence and network strategy at Star, Hugo Harber, said that \”The decision not to conduct the review creates an imbalance. If you\’re running a small network, and you\’re not one of the big two (British Telecom and Virgin Media), then it\’s going to cost you more to run fibre to a local area. Current taxation makes it more expensive to deliver to the extremities. The government is increasing the burden of cost. It has stated that a level of broadband connectivity is a right, well there has to be a subsidy. And this subsidy has always existed. As you roll out fibre, there isn\’t that subsidy now, you pay more as you get further away from metropolitan areas. And now you\’re paying a tax on top of that. As you go through more local authority areas, you pay more tax. It is a blatantly unfair tax that favours the larger operators. The investment in laying those fibres is being hampered by the tax. Small businesses aiming to invest in fibre rollout are being restricted. We should tax the revenue, not the investment. It should have been reviewed as they promised it would.\”

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