DCLG announces £60m tax reform to boost UK’s digital revolution

New plans announced by Communities Secretary Sajid Javid includes a £60 tax reform to make it easier for companies to connect more homes and businesses across England to gold standard full fibre broadband.

Currently telecoms networks pay business rates on the fibre infrastructure needed to deliver high quality broadband and mobile connectivity to their customers. However, the Local Government Finance Bill will give these companies a tax break for up to five years on the new infrastructure they lay for full fibre broadband, resulting in a saving of £60 million.

According to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), new tax relief will not apply to existing infrastructure, which it claims, will give companies more of an incentive to move further and faster to get people connected to the best services.

The move is part of a £1 billion package of measures by the government, announced at Autumn Statement 2016, to help communities get digitally connected. The package also includes: a £400 million Digital
Infrastructure Investment Fund, at least matched by private finance, to invest in new fibre networks over the next four years; £740million funding to encourage the market development of full fibre networks in both urban and rural areas; and a coordinated programme of integrated fibre and 5G trials, to keep the UK at the forefront of the digital revolution

Announcing the news, Javid said: “We need to have the best possible digital technology and broadband connections if we’re to create an economy that works for all.

“The Local Government Finance Bill will offer a £60 million boost to deliver ever-faster broadband connections, making UK PLC an ever-stronger competitor on the global stage.”