TalkTalk blasts Government’s free laptop scheme
TalkTalk has blasted the Government’s plans to get 270,000 low-income families online as “muddled thinking”.
Under the proposals, first mooted in September 2008, the Government will pledge £300 million to offer low-income families free laptops and broadband access for a year.
However, while TalkTalk claimed the scheme was laudable, it has argued that other policies being introduced by the Government to combat file-sharing and fund its 2Mbits/sec broadband plans will serve to price families out of the broadband market.
As a result of two Government proposals – the phone tax and copyright protection – families face an extra cost of £30 a year to stay online
“No-one would dispute that getting low-income families online is a good thing,” TalkTalk says in a statement.
“But as a result of two Government proposals – the phone tax and copyright protection – families face an extra cost of £30 a year to stay online. Demand modelling shows that this additional burden could lead to 600,000 financially stretched families being forced to give up their broadband connections.”
And the attack didn’t stop there, with TalkTalk claiming the Government’s internet strategy was “inconsistent and muddled”.
“This tax is not about getting people onto broadband – it is about taxing everyone to allow the relatively well-off in rural areas to get super-fast speeds,” the broadband company claims.
“As for the costs of protecting copyright, it is obscene that poorer families face the prospect of being priced out of the internet in order to prop up the outdated business models of big studios and record labels,” it concludes.