FCC Chairman finally admits there will be internet taxes...after passing Net Neutrality, of course
Repeat this to yourself: Government never gets smaller.
When we tried to warn everyone that so-called “Net Neutrality” would eventually lead to massive tax hikes we had people laugh at us and write us angry emails, politely informing us that we didn’t know what we were talking about. Well how about now?
From CNS News:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler acknowledged in congressional testimony today that an Internet tax–which he had previously said would not be imposed–could be imposed in the future. Wheeler’s remarks came during a Tuesday appearance before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, where he was asked to shed light on the process by which the FCC passed rules last month regulating the Internet. Wheeler’s admission came after Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) asked him to go on the record with his previous assurances that there would be no new taxes. A fact sheet Wheeler issued about the rules on February 4 stated: “The Order will not impose, suggest or authorize any new taxes or fees–there will be no automatic Universal Service fees applied and the congressional moratorium on Internet taxation applies to broadband.”
However, the new FCC rules reclassified Internet Service Providers (ISPs) as Title II utilities, which are normally subjected to a USF fee. The fund is meant to enable the provision of universal service to customers of the utilities that contribute. The commission’s decision granted ISPs “forbearance” from the requirement to pay the fee, but it would not protect them from contrary decisions in the future. In fact, two FCC members warned in dissenting opinions that a new Internet tax was imminent.
Net Neutrality is a crucial juncture in India where telecom companies could penalize the usage of apps such as Whatsapp, Facebook, Skype, Viber and so on because it eats into their profits. If you’re Indian, that means if the TRAI does follow what these companies want, then we’ll have to pay more for our internet usage on these sites or apps, or be forced to deal with much much slower internet speeds on these sites unless the websites purchase data from the companies.
Verizon's response to the FCC's decision to regulate the internet using a law from 1934 is perfect
Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission decided on a 3-2 party-line vote to begin regulating the internet using a law from the 1930s. The law is the Communications Act of 1934, specifically Title II, and it gives the FCC broad power to tax, censor, and disrupt the free enterprise of the internet.
Verizon responded to the news in appropriate fashion, using morse code, the form of communication that the original 1934 law would have been regulating.
Here’s the translation:
Today (Feb. 26) the Federal Communications Commissionapproved an order urged by President Obama that imposes rules on
broadband Internet services that were written in the era of the steam
locomotive and the telegraph. The following statement should be
attributed to Michael E. Glover, Verizon senior vice president, public
policy and government affairs:
“Today’s decision by the FCC to encumber broadband Internet services
with badly antiquated regulations is a radical step that presages a time
of uncertainty for consumers, innovators and investors. Over the past two
decades a bipartisan, light- touch policy approach unleashed
unprecedented investment and enabled the broadband Internet age
consumers now enjoy.
“The FCC today chose to change the way the commercial Internet hasoperated since its creation. Changing a platform that has been so
successful should be done, if at all, only after careful policy analysis,
full transparency, and by the legislature, which is constitutionally
charged with determining policy. As a result, it is likely that history
will judge today’s actions as misguided.
The FCC’s move is especially regrettable because it is wholly
unnecessary. The FCC had targeted tools available to preserve an open
Internet, but instead chose to use this order as an excuse to adopt 300-
plus pages of broad and open- ended regulatory arcana that will have
unintended negative consequences for consumers and various parts of the
Internet ecosystem for years to come.
“What has been and will remain constant before, during and after
the existence of any regulations is Verizon’s commitment to an open
Internet that provides consumers with competitive broadband choices and
Internet access when, where, and how they want.”
Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission voted to regulate access to the Internet as it would a public utility, under something called Title 2 of the Communications Act of 1934. Critics of the FCC say it’s an old, dusty law meant to apply to phone service, not the complexities of the modern Internet. But there are some parallels to the days when Title 2 was enacted.
Flash back to the 1920s and early 1930s. When you picked up a phone in that era, you would hear a voice (always a woman’s) asking what number you wanted to reach. An army of hundreds of thousands of women operated America’s manual telephone switchboards. They were the public face of American Telephone and Telegraph.
“The telephone operator was right there bringing in people who could help correct the problem,” says Dan Schiller, professor emeritus of communication at the University of Illinois, “or even talking to subscribers to reassure them that help was on the way.”