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CTG Bemoans Lack of Broadband Support in UK Budget 2024

Wednesday, Mar 6th, 2024 (2:17 pm) - Score 1,000
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The CCO of the Complete Technology Group (CTG), Kevin Monaghan, has criticised today’s Spring Budget 2024 announcement for both failing to “crackdown” on broadband ISPs “inflicting substantial mid-contract price hikes” on consumers and not announcing any new provisions to help upgrade digital infrastructure.

The Government currently has two headline investment programmes for improving broadband and mobile. The first is the £1bn Shared Rural Network project, which aims to boost geographic 4G mobile coverage to 95% of the UK by the end of 2025 (this is a bit delayed). In addition, they’ve also set a target for “all populated areas to be covered by ‘standalone’ 5G (5G-plus) [network] by 2030“ (here).

NOTE: According to Ofcom, 57% of the UK can already access a “full fibre broadband” (FTTP/B) network, which rises to 78% for “gigabit-capable broadband” (FTTP and Hybrid Fibre Coax) and geographic 4G coverage stands at between 80-87%.

The second is their £5bn Project Gigabit programme, which aims to make 1Gbps+ broadband speeds available to at least 85% of UK premises by the end of 2025 and then “nationwide” (c.99%) by 2030. But suffice to say, we weren’t expecting to see any major new commitments toward broadband and mobile in this year’s budget.

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The only thing we did get was a proposal to enhance the new “Full Expensing” policy (here), which is already due to be made permanent and will help some big network operators to bring down the cost of related plant and machinery (capital expenses). The new proposal pledged to expand full expensing to include “assets for leasing“, but this will require new legislation and would then be introduced “when fiscal conditions allow“.

Otherwise, the Spring Budget 2024 was somewhat of a none event for digital infrastructure, which is something that CTG aren’t happy about (CTG works with MDU landlords to help expand digital infrastructure).

Kevin Monaghan, Chief Commercial Officer at Complete Technology Group, said:

“It was disappointing that the purported crackdown on broadband providers inflicting substantial mid-contract price hikes was absent from the Chancellor’s budget. Broadband must be accessible to everyone, and affordable connectivity is essential in widening digital inclusivity, and we would have wholly supported this measure.

It was also disappointing not to see provisions in the Budget for improving digital infrastructure across the UK. The focus is often on delivering Full Fibre broadband to remote, rural areas, yet there is substantial long-term investment and policy required to improve Full Fibre availability in urban areas. Millions of people living in Multi-Dwelling Units (high-rise blocks of flats) still lack access to reliable broadband – something that is now considered a vital modern-day utility.

Access to reliable, safe, and Full Fibre broadband is crucial for economic development and social inclusion. Therefore we call on the Government to prioritise any action that ensures no one is digitally left behind.”

The Spring Budget 2024 Document is now available to download, but it doesn’t contain even a single mention of words like “broadband“, “mobile“, “gigabit“, “5G” or “full fibre“.

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Mark-Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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Comments
16 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Andrew says:

    I bet it includes “MP spending allowences” and “MP pay rises” and nothing about “Doctor/GP pay rise”

    1. Avatar photo Sam says:

      The meme with the full parliament room to approve MP salaries and only a handful of MPs to discuss vax harms applies

  2. Avatar photo Sam says:

    The budget was a complete nothing burger. The only meaningful cut is on -4% selling properties and a tiny -2% 2nd income tax cut. Tons of blubber spending including 1 million to build monuments to appease the muslim vote

    1. Avatar photo Billy Shears says:

      Income tax cut? Where? NI is going down by 2p but no change to income tax so far as I know.

    2. Avatar photo Sam says:

      NI = 2nd income tax

      The rebranding is to deceive people and lie that income taxes are not as high as other countries when it is

  3. Avatar photo Billy Shears says:

    @sam, partly true. It’s an “earned” income tax, you don’t pay it if you’re retired. Personally I’d like to see it abolished because I think it’s a dishonest tax in several ways; as you say it’s really income tax, no one knows how to calculate it and there are still fools who think that it pays for pensions and the NHS. I think all taxes should be described as a tax, none of this this “licence”, “duty”, “insurance” etc nonsense and anyone who pays any tax (or receives any benefit) should be able to easily calculate it.

    1. Avatar photo RightSaidFred says:

      Pretty sure there are people that can do simple math and work it out.

      If you earn £40k then right now you pay (40000-12570)x.10 in NI.

      After this cut it’ll be (40000-12570)x0.08 in NI.

      I’m sure there is someone on here with the ability to do that math.

    2. Avatar photo Phil says:

      The point is not whether you can do math or not, is that taxes are overcomplicated for no reason other than to numb people to be less averse towards the syphoning of their funds

      Agreed, they should be clearly and uniformely named. I lose IQ when the proBBC mob argues that the govt compelling you to pay the BBC is a fee and not a tax when it pretty much behaves the same way

    3. Avatar photo Billy Shears says:

      @RSF, I’m totally willing to put my hand up and say if I’m wrong but https://www.gov.uk/national-insurance-rates-letters suggests that it’s more complicated than that.

      Calculations should not be designed to hide the fact that someone is slipping their hand into my wallet.

    4. Avatar photo GG says:

      Agree @Billy.

      I’m closer to retirement than I dare admit, but I think it’s an unfair tax that lands most heavily on the lower paid. Before the other recent reduction the effective tax rate for a worker was 32%, not the headline 20%.

      Add in 5% for a workplace pension, and 9% for the graduate tax if they went to university, and the marginal rate for many people trying to get on was 46%, which was absurd.

      Getting this off people’s payslips is a good aim.

      And ‘math’. Jeez pardners, we all ‘merican now are we?

    5. Avatar photo RightSaidFred says:

      Nothing wrong with the figures. If you fall into a category that pays lower (or no NI), then clearly none of this is for you.

    6. Avatar photo Richard says:

      “it’s an unfair tax” – all tax is unfair

      Income tax/NI income tax 2 = “you dare to earn more money for yourself? We’ll take more money”

      Inheritance tax = “your dad died? Lol let’s take some money from you”

      Land tax = “you bought a property? You have activated our trap card, so we take a ton of money out of that”

      Capital gains tax = “you worked hard to buy a property out of money that we already taxed you through income tax and then land tax and now you have the nerve to sell it? Haha we’ll away some of that”

      VAT/sales tax = “how dare you buy food?! We must take a percentage out of that chicken”

      Business tax = “you’re running a company well? Good for you now let me reach for your pocket”

  4. Avatar photo wow says:

    Tory are bunches of useless

    1. Avatar photo Bill says:

      So are red tories.”2 cheeks of the same backside” George Galloway.

    2. Avatar photo XGS says:

      You voted for them, Phil.

  5. Avatar photo Testy McTestface says:

    The country is going to hell in a handbasket, and absolutely no way will 99% of the country be able to get a wired gigabit service by 2030.

    UK.gov will fudge the numbers by counting 4G/5G/Starlink/whatever, and call it mission accomplished.

    Commercial providers will not hit 99% without spectacular levels of subsidy that the govt will not be willing to meet. The future is very much a two speed UK. FTTP and everyone else.

Comments are closed

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