Friday, 10 July 2009

A toll bridge over the digital divide

I was chatting with Nick Wood over at Total Telecom today about BT proposing extending the 50p levy to mobile. As discussed in last blog post I don't think this is great idea as the poorest in society rely solely on mobile for their connectivity. Charging a telecoms poll tax so that rural areas can be provisioned with some form of broadband is swapping one form of digital divide for another.

Actually there's a more general flaw with the 50p charge. It's putting a barrier in the way of people bridging the digital divide. The UK government is seeking to bridge the digital divide with a toll bridge. It's actually adding a barrier to digital inclusion (albeit a small one). Others have advocated using general taxation. I think there's some logic to this.

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