FCC Wants to Tax ‘Net Phones

They want to make sure anyone who talks over the Internet pays the tax to subsidizes people who can’t afford phones (because you know… having a phone is a right). I love this quote:

The discrepancy has the industry scratching its head, Kohlenberger said. “The FCC’s efforts on VoIP are like trying to solve traffic and energy problems by stifling the rollout of energy-efficient hybrid vehicles, while subsidizing SUVs,” he said.

Indeed, why should I have to subsidize someone’s way more expensive land-line when I’m taking advantage of the free market to find the cheapest phone carrier (Skype in my case)?

This seems like it’s a slippery slope between taxing for the sake of subsidy and someday taxing instant messages and data packets to give people free Internet, but far be it for me to see anything positive about another dumb tax. And here I thought we were winning the phone tax war.

4 Comments
  1. That would be the Universal Service Fund, and it’s little more than yet another welfare program.

  2. Oh dear god, is there no way to end the unconstitutional madness instituted by the FCC? I mean for fucks sake, it’s right there in the constitution, “Congress shall make no law” and so what, the presidnt issues an executive order and that makes it kosher? And just how many presidents have we had since that order was issues, about 8? and none of them have had the courage to bring about an end to the FCC? Hell, the current administration has just increased FCC fines tenfold.

    I, myself have been trying to work arround tham, I formed a religius entity so as to be able to run a radio/tv station, but now my research is telling me internet radio/tv is the future. My question is, how long before teh FCC sticks it’s dirty brown nose into my business in that format?

    I hate the FCC, did I make that clear? If I could, I’d dissolve their existence beyond tha ability of memory to recall.

  3. Well, the thing is, where I live if not for subsidies there would be no telephones. There simply aren’t enough people per mile of line to make a profit. My current phone service comes from a non-profit co-op initially funded by the Universal Service Fund.

    This phone line- which is also my Internet line- still uses the copper wire that was laid down in 1960, when phone service first came to the area. Broadband is not now, nor is it ever, coming here- thus no VoIP phone. I have a cel phone… but due to lack of transmission towers, it doesn’t work within twenty miles of my home, which means I’m paying roughly ten dollars per minute used per month.

    I could argue that there’s a vital need for emergency communication- fires, floods, accidents, murders, thefts- for those who live in rural areas, and that government has an interest in this communication. Instead I’ll just say this: without this subsidy, no company would run a line within miles of my house.

  4. Kris — dump both and look into investing into satellite phones.

    If you’re already paying $10.00/month, might as well be able to use them *ANYWHERE* — right?

    Broadband won’t come there, but DSL can and probably is already available.

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