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The government's proposal to introduce a tax of £6 a year on fixed-wire phone lines to raise money for improved broadband network speeds has left an industry insider 'puzzled'.

Speaking to computerweekly.com, former Microsoft employee Jerry Fishenden said the tax, the details of which were outlined in last week's Digital Britain report, could end up penalising the very people it is designed to assist.

Indeed, he suggests that the measure could even disincentivise people from using broadband technology.

"I suspect many people will opt for their mobile phones. A lot will depend on what content they can get from fixed broadband," he told the news provider.

Mr Fishenden also queried whether the funds delivered by the levy would be sufficient to ensure 'superfast' broadband network access could be secured by 90 per cent of the population by 2017.

The government's white paper also pledged to deliver a minimum broadband internet speed of 2Mb for all UK homeowners by 2012.

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