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The government has lacked decisiveness and a clear vision for the future in forming its plans for a digital society, according to one commentator.

Writing for the Guardian, Spiked Online editor Brendan O'Neill said that while the internet has become central to many people's lives, ministers are living in the past.

He commented that the internet is now "so much more than a place where we read stuff and send emails", but the constraints of under-developed infrastructure threaten to stifle online activity in the future.

Mr O'Neill said that as people use the internet to download video and audio, conduct business and financial transactions, upload photos and communicate, the strain on the current broadband infrastructure increases.

"The physical expansion of the internet, the laying down of more real-world fibre optics and the improvement of the internet's info-carrying capacity, has not kept pace with the numerous virtual breakthroughs," he stated.

"And what is New Labour's vision for dealing with this eminently fixable problem? It doesn't have one."

The Conservative Party has led the criticism of the government's proposed 50p-a-month tax on fixed phone lines – designed to fund infrastructure investment in the UK.

According to opposition MPs, taxing broadband could force many lower income households to give up their web connections altogether.

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