back to article TalkTalk steps up attack on government

Charles Dunstone, the TalkTalk boss with links to the Conservative Party, has launched an attack on the government's plan for a 50 pence per month tax on every landline to fund rural fibre rollout. He claimed today the £6 per year levy will mean 100,000 low income households will be forced to disconnect their broadband. "This …


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  1. The BigYin

    I read...

    ...that in Korea they get 1,000mbps for around £10 a month. Are we still a first world country?

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Um, bollocks

    I'm not here to argue the why's and whathaveyou's about the tax being implemented, but even a beggar on the street could afford 50p a MONTH. Where the hell TalkTalk get their information someone who "on the breadline" already has a broadband connection cannot give up one can of Special Brew a MONTH, is beyond a joke.

  3. irish donkey
    Thumb Up

    I've been telling my Mum to drop TalkTalk for ages......

    as her internet is rubbish. I might just wait to see how this finishes before we jump ship.

  4. Chad H.

    Is anyone seriously buying this

    If you can't afford an extra 50p per month, I think you've got bigger problems than your broadband...

  5. Gordon Pryra

    talk talk have got a nerve

    The brought One Tell,

    My retrired parents use One Tell

    I tried to use their internet connection and discovered they were paying 60 quid a month for a 512 connection.

    I "spoke" to the talk talk customer services who promised to provide a real speed for their cash if they signed up for a 18 month tied in service (despite having been customers for years with One Tell)

    So Talk Talk are willing to steal from retired people who dont understand what they are being sold, but won't charge 50p a month extra to poor people who shouldn't be wasting thier time online anyway?

    Something doesent add up

  6. Da Weezil

    Another Ri Off.

    Remind me what I am paying more fo here? I ALREADY pay through the nose being ripped off on a market 1 exchange with poor speeds and low data caps. Sort taht BEFORE you expect me to styump up more than my rich fellow citizens in urgba areas already spoiled for choice and generally at much better rates than we have extroted from us.

    It only right to pay for improvement that has actually happened... not for vague promises of jam 5 years after I take a trip to the oven!

  7. Piers

    "mostly richer rural households..."

    Has this guy ever LIVED in the Country, I mean the REAL country, you know, like you get in Scotland, Northern England, Wales or Cornwall, not the bloody London commuter belt.

    Let me tell you, everything tends to be more expensive, there isn't a great deal of employment and it's largely neglected by Government. Even though people have been living here for thousands of years.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    and what exactly is he contributing!

    So Ofcom in order to create 'competition' push BT into defining markets and products to allow this guy to pick and choose where and who he sells too. He 'invests' in the most densely populated exchanges, having no obligation to do anything else, but a nice margin has been created for him in these areas, without any need to put anything back.

    He himself is not investing in NGA, he is planning to sell TALK, TALK and I assume OPAL leaving him to re-sell NGA where he can and take his cut . He will need a friendly regulator to keep his cut.

    While our Mobile companies are laid down with debt and poor coverage and poor service, Carphone get to cream their percentage off the top.

    Listening to Andrew Heaney of Carphone at the house of commons last week, he suggested if money was needed it come from general taxation. As if.

    Perhaps we should cut out companies that add absolutely no value. Hats off though, they have had a profound understanding of Ofcoms shallowness, and ridden that donkey well.

  9. Tom 106

    What a tw*t!!

    It's quite possible that one of the reasons for the moans and groans from Talk Talk, is because of the possible drop on their income.

    Talk Talk charge their customers extra cash to go beyond the allocated monthly bandwidth limit, therefore, any of Talk Talk customers who are continually using P2P, are likely to be cut off, resulting in all that extra cash that Talk Talk rake in from their customers.

    As for Charles Dunstone comments that consumers are likely to drop the internet because of a 50p a month broadband tax is nonsense in my opinion. Consumers are more likely to shop around for a better broadband deal, which may result in the likes of BT. Talk Talk, Tiscali, Plusnet etc losing customers to other companies who offer better speeds, unlimited download, and decent customer service.

    2010 the Broadbad Wars.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Salesmen -thinking of policy - what is going on?

    Apart from Opal which will be for sale next year, (no fiber, no mobile network, and nothing in the way of rural network investment and no plan to do so) why would a retailer who has no interest in infrastructure as such have an opinion on this matter or a right to be listened too.

    Fundamentally their concept of national networking is that all of our possible needs can be met by delivering <20KBps of peak house capacity for each of their Broadband users.

    Of course there is no demand for bandwidth, they will never see it as their service is configured to deliver the least functional service. You would not dare offer a value added service to anybody on Talk Talk.

  11. Dangerous Dave

    i'm binning them anyway

    I've had them for 2 months and after countless calls to their "support" team they cant explain to me why my talk talk service only sync's at 250-300k downstream, leaving my "service" pretty unusable - I know i live in the back of beyond (3km from the nearest exchange), and this is the reason they put my slow sync speeds down to, Very strange that on previous providers (Demon, IDNet) i'd be getting 1MBit - 1.25MBit speeds. hardly lightning, but at least i had the ability to watch stuff on youtube without having to wait 10 minutes for it download the entire thing first. They don't seem to understand how i was able to achieve working broadband before. My neighbour has BT Broadband and that sync's at around 1MBit, so how do they explain that one? Is it because they are 5 metres closer to the exchange than i am? morons, the lot of them.

    The final straw came this morning was when they finally called me back and told me that the problem was with the length of line from the exchange (blah blah) and that they could send a BT engineer out to my property but i would be billed for it at whatever extortionate rate BT have plucked out of the sky.

    Take your broadband and stick it.

    Though there here was a funny incident after the clocks had changed, and obviously their call centre in mumbai/wherever hadnt worked this out properly. I asked them to call me at 8PM Monday night to perform some line tests etc. Mobile goes off at 7PM and i'm on my way home, "Rupert" from TalkTalk is on the other end wanting to perform these line tests for the umpteenth time. my response was "you are supposed to ring me at 8PM" his response "sorry sir, my previous appointment ran over so it made me late for this one" - WTF.... world time FAIL

    Also hearing "Thankyou from your time and patience" a billion times per call to their "support" people really does nothing for my patience

  12. Grease Monkey Silver badge

    What title?

    Have the government indicated how much of the broadband tax will actually be spent on rolling out rural broadband and how much will be spent on administration? We all know that nulabour are very, very big on stealth taxes and I suspect that this will be yet another. Everybody is well aware that only a small fraction of the taxes levied on motorists actually find their way back into transport (unless you count paying MPs travel expenses) so how about this tax?

    A better way to handle this would be to invite providers to invest in rural broadband with a guarantee of exclusivity for say ten years in the areas in which they invest. That way the companies that really want to provide a service will be willing to do so. The problem at the moment is that the way things stand nobody want to invest because they know full well that the likes of TalkTalk will undercut them by offering crappy low speed IPStream services over their newly installed infrastructure.

    If this twat really cared about inclusive access to broadband he'd be rolling out broadband to rural areas rather than trying to block schemes to do it. Strange isn't it that he's not offering any realistic alternatives to the 50p tax scheme. If he's an industry expert surely he's got some ideas beyond being a mouthpiece for Cameron.

  13. Richard Vivash

    They can talk about disconnecting people...

    The only people responsible for broadband lines being disconnected are TalkTalk themselves! I'm currently at my folks' who are unfortunate enough to have TalkTalk broadband and I'm having post this using a Vodafone USB dongle.

    The connection is a joke. The line is capable of about 5Meg (or that's the max it has ever reached) but 90% of the time they're lucky to get 0.2-0.3Meg.

    The speed isn't the biggest problem though, the constant disconnections is the real issue. It's impossible to download anything over a few MBs as you're lucky if the connection stays up for more than 2 minutes. Some days the connection will be good for a few hours (generally at about 3am!) so I'm sure it's not the line that's the issue, it's TalkTalk's network being over-stressed or just useless. 3 different modems, 3 different filters, modem directly into the master socket, no other phones plugged in anywhere, nothing helps.

    I'll pay 50p a month if it improves things as currently TalkTalk is a complete waste of money. Mr Dunstone should spend more time getting his house in order before setting his sights on a political career.

    And don't get me started on TalkTalk's technical 'support'….

  14. ken jay

    Broadband stealth tax

    I have been an internet user since before we had a graphical internet, in those days i had to call a national number and pay through my nose to connect to the internet via a london gateway.

    i have moved with the times probably subsidising not only BT but telewest, blueyonder, virgin now o2 and bethere.

    my question is i have been an early adopter for 20 yrs now, i have always had to pay premium prices for services for all of this time. so my main question is where did all that money i paid to BT and the cable companies go. not pnly have i paid my fair share of money to these companies so that they can supply me with what i need/want they now want a bigger share of my funds so i can pay for something i thought i was paying for.

    no privatised company should be allowed to get away with what they are getting away with, the early adopters have already paid this money out so that everyone else has the ability to connect to the internet cheaply, I suggest that the government goes to these people in rural areas and gets them to pay the extra money for the services like they already do when they need a road or electricity and gas running to out of the way places.

    I for one will be looking at my internet usage and cutting down in the future as nowadays we spend more time than ever searching for what we want on the internet and we spend far too long checking that the latest email is a scam.

    when the uk`s services get as good as sweden or tiawan or any other third world country then i will gladly pay extra but i will not pay any more stealth taxes to help fat cats get rich while the rest of us subsidise low standard access.

    Ken Jay

  15. Nicholas Wright

    Hang on a minute...

    BT have said, "No, we're not paying for rural broadband... it's not commercially viable for us."

    And the Government's said, "Oh, really sorry BT Sir. We'll find you the money from somewhere else."

    Goverment press release - "All those people using BT's infrastructure now need to pay more money er... to BT... so they can insert broadband into rural areas, get the profits, and not actually spend any money on it."

    Grow some balls, tell BT to either implement fibre or we'll find another company to take over the infrastructure - a national asset btw.

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