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The government looks increasingly unlikely to force through its controversial 50p-a-month broadband tax, according to one commentator.

Writing in his blog, BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones said the damning Commons Business Committee report published this week could prove to be the death knell for the proposal.

The Conservative Party has already stated its intention to scrap the plan if it enters government in the spring, and the cross-party committee has backed this course of action.

Mr Cellan-Jones commented: "It certainly looks like the 50p tax is dead in the water. The government is expected to put the levy in a finance bill after the upcoming budget and it appears unlikely to get into law before the election.

"And even if a Labour government were returned to power, it's clear from this report that some of its own MPs see the landline levy as a bad idea."

He said MPs believed more in encouraging the universal adoption of broadband services, rather than the pursuit of faster download speeds which are only likely to benefit an elite few.

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