DFT Alistair Darling cropped

Super-fast broadband is essential to create thousands of new businesses and jobs in the UK, says the Chancellor.

During today's budget, Alistair Darling revealed the government has "taken the decision to ensure the benefits [of super-fast broadband] were spread to rural as well as urban areas".

Darling then said a proposed 'broadband tax',which was first outlined in the Chancellor's Pre-Budget report in December, will "unlock private investment and enable 90 per cent of the country to access the next generation of super-fast broadband by 2017".

Under the 'broadband tax' Brits will be charged a £6 a year levy on their telephone line. This tax will create the 'Next Generation Fund' that will pay for the roll out of super-fast broadband across the UK.

However, Darling did elaborate opn when the 'broadband tax' would come into force.

Darling's comments come just days after Prime Minister Gordon Brown revealed that the government hopes to ensure every one in Great Britain has access to super-fast broadband by 2020.