Small businesses could be worst hit by the government's proposed Landline Duty, after further details were released in a new consultation paper issued by the Treasury.
The so-called Broadband Tax will charge homes and businesses 50p per line, meaning that small firms with multiple lines could be charged more than larger corporations, which often have fewer, higher capacity connections.
The consultation paper, Implementing a Landline Duty: consultation on draft legislation and impacts, admitted that there would be an "imperfect relationship between the amount of duty paid and the size of the business in terms of number of employees".
"Large firms usually have bespoke telecommunication solutions. For example, large offices or call centres may only have a single high capacity fibre connection and therefore could pay as little as 50p per month," the consultation explained.
When it comes to small businesses, however, the report admits that companies with "comparatively few employees" could have several copper lines for which they will need to pay.
The Duty will have to be paid on any lines that are made available to firms, even if they are not used.
One bit of good news for businesses is that, where a single provider offers broadband and voice services through separate cables, the customer will not be charged twice.
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