In an editorial on Ars Technica internet advocacy group Free Press described the FCC's move to tax broadband as a way to fund broadband infrastructure growth in the U.S. as misguided. Free Press Research Director S. Derek Turner says that the proposed $1 – $5 tax on customers would ultimately be turned over to companies like AT&T who have been slowly pulling out of the broadband business anyway.
Turner goes on to say that this money would still be part of the USF – the fund that was put in place to bring telephone lines and service to rural areas. Beyond that, states that have collected these taxes would like to keep that money to be spent on broadband locally, but there are no provisions to make that a possibility. Here's a bit from Turner's editorial:
"Instead of doing the politically hard work of strengthening the USF by cutting back the amount we toss to the companies feeding at the subsidy trough, politicians like former Democratic Rep. Rick Boucher, regulators like current Republican FCC Commissioner Rob McDowell, and some big companies have called for 'expanding the contributions base,' which is DC-speak for adding a USF tax to services like your home broadband connection or smartphone data plan."
You can read the entire thing here.
Source: Broadband Reports