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A government thinktank has welcomed the publication of guidance over the application of the controversial tax on fibre optic broadband lines.

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) has released further details about how the levy on fibre lines will apply, a move appreciated by the Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG).

Concerns have been raised that high rates of taxation could discourage broadband providers from laying fibre cables in rural areas of the UK, reports

Antony Walker, Chief Executive of the BSG, explained that the guidance addresses one of the uncertainties facing investors considering the deployment of residential super-fast broadband networks in the final third.

"It provides industry with greater clarity about the rates liability for these networks," he stated.

"The provisional rates are generally significantly lower than those that will apply to networks in more urban areas within the first two-thirds."

Mr Walker said further work is still required to ensure the guidance is understood by all stakeholders and that industry has an opportunity to provide feedback.

But in general terms, he described the guidance as "a big step forward". 

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