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Government questions own report's ambition and tax propositions

Digital Britain inquiry launched

A parliamentary select committee is to carry out an inquiry into Labour’s recently launched Digital Britain report, to assess whether it goes far enough in modernising the country’s internet infrastructure, and the if proposed taxation is valid.

The Business and Enterprise Committee inquiry will be a cross-party effort, and will take a more general look at the state of broadband access across the UK, as well as ask whether the suggested legislation to revamp it is realistic.

The investigation seems to respond to some of the negative reaction the Digital Britain report received upon its release earlier this month. Chief amongst the criticisms were that the 2Mb minimum speed it called for was vastly lower than other country’s plans (such as South Korea’s 1GB goal), and that new taxation on existing landlines to pay for the work would be unpopular.

The Government’s wider goals behind the original report were essentially to get every single person Britain using the internet, citing a perceived link between what it calls ‘digital exclusion’ and genuine social exclusion. Making the UK ‘the leader of the digital world’ would also boost the economy, it was alluded in the report.

The committee is asking for submissions to be presented before September 25th to be considered the inquiry.

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