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The government's new broadband tax could dissuade low income households from using internet services, one industry expert has claimed.

Speaking exclusively to ISPreview, Clodagh Murphy, Director at broadband provider Eclipse Internet, said the 50p-a-month levy, set to be introduced in 2010, may act as "an inhibitor" to those people who have not yet embraced broadband.

Due to the increased costs associated with setting up a fixed broadband connection, they may be encouraged to ditch their landline altogether, she suggested, relying solely on mobile technology.

She claimed it is "critical" for everyone in the UK to have access to quality broadband and any barriers to this overriding goal should be avoided.

Ms Murphy stated: "We also believe that in order to stimulate the economy to grow we need to ensure that there is a real focus on narrowing the digital divide.

"Therefore it is critical that the government works locally and nationally to encourage those people who have not yet adopted to adopt."

The Conservative Party has vowed to scrap the broadband tax if it enters government at the next general election.

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