Tiscali sees 'benefit' in landline levy

By Andrew Laughlin

Tiscali has said that the proposed charge on all UK landline connections will be "beneficial" if it leads to greater availability of fast broadband.
Lord Carter's final Digital Britain report yesterday put forward the proposal of a 50p monthly charge to be imposed on all fixed telephone lines.

It is estimated that this could generate between £150 million to £175 million every year towards the government's universal broadband pledge.
Commenting on the development, Tiscali said that the extra cost to customers would be justified if it led to a greater availability of high-speed broadband.\

"We obviously don't like to pass additional cost to our customers, but if this funds a wider availability of equally high-speed fixed broadband and the fund created is directed to extended or new fixed line initiatives, then we think that both customers and operators will
consider this beneficial," said a spokesperson for the firm.

However, Consumer Focus chief executive Ed Mayo has pointed out that some customers will be "asking why they have to foot the bill for the government".

The campaign group is instead urging the government to review all available options for funding the broadband rollout, particularly because it has doubts whether the 50p levy will effectively cover the costs.