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Plans for a £6 annual tax on UK landlines to pay for super-fast broadband took the nation by surprise when they were revealed last month.

Unveiled as part of the Digital Britain report, the levy came as a shock even to some of those who had been writing the report, according to the Guardian's Media Monkey.

A member of Lord Stephen Carter's 11-member committee, which advised on the next-generation broadband policies outlined in the review, told the technology blog how a tax to fund fibre-optic networks had never been discussed in its meetings.

"Very early on, as we started our report last year, we were specifically warned off suggesting any increase in taxes, because that would be politically unacceptable," the source was quoted as saying.

The committee member also expressed disappointment at the finished report, suggesting that it has "dodged a lot of issues" and warning that Lord Carter's decision to quit as Communications Minister could see the proposals "cut to shreds".

Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw announced the tax on June 16th, explaining that it would provide subsidies to internet service providers rolling out fibre-optic broadband services.

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