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The introduction of a tax on fixed phone lines could cause the price of web packages to rise, it has been claimed.

According to broadband provider TalkTalk, this measure could force many households to give up their connection.

Charles Dunstone, Chief Executive at the firm, described the planned 50p-a-month levy as "unjust and regressive", predicting it will backfire on the government as it seeks to roll-out next-generation broadband.

"We estimate that the increase in price will mean that more than 100,000 mostly low-income homes will be forced to give up their broadband lines," he stated.

"This is wholly inconsistent with the government's plans to tackle digital exclusion by increasing uptake and use of broadband."

Mr Dunstone suggested that the tax would merely subsidise mostly richer rural households that can already afford super-fast broadband services.

TalkTalk also recently criticised the government's plans to disconnect any web user found to have shared files illegally over the internet.

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