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Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Digital Britain

One of the proposals announced this afternoon in the 'Digital Britain' paper would appear to be a £6 a year tax on landlines. That's right - 50 new pennies a month for those in possession of a Plain Old Telephone System (POTS). Way to go!

There used to be a time when most people in this country accessed the GPO telephone system via a series of kiosks placed at the end of their streets (AKA Phone Boxes).

Later, if you had the money the GPO/BT would install a connection in you house, usually placing the hardwired connection in your hallway. Sometimes you even had to share the line with you neighbours (anyone remember party lines?). If you had your own line or shared line you had it made. Your family and friends could call you at their leisure and providing it wasn't to cold/hot in your hallway and that your neighbour did not interrupt, you could chat away through the night.

These days every 5 year old and their dog seems to have a mobile phone. Why tax the the old and the vulnerable who rely on their landlines for the occasional call and the comfort of knowing they can phone for help in an emergency?

Has anybody bothered to think this one through?

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