Sunday, November 16, 2014

FCC Plans Stealth Internet Tax Increase

FCC Plans Stealth Internet Tax Increase: "Under its “Open Internet” or “network neutrality” proceeding, the FCC would regulate the  Internet and broadband service providers with rules similar to those that courts have not once but twice ruled unlawful.   By statute, the FCC regulates telecommunications services, not Internet services.  Rather than wait for Congress to give it authority to regulate Internet services, the FCC asserts that power for itself by some imaginative interpretation of the Communications Act.

One set of proposals considered by the FCC would classify Internet services, or at least Internet access services, as “interstate telecommunications services” bringing the regulation of those services exclusively to the FCC.

The FCC imposes fees of 16.1% on interstate telecommunications services that will generate more than $8 billion in federal universal service funds in 2014. Additional FCC fees on interstate telecommunications services raise $1 billion for federal telecommunications relay services.  Although Congress mandates the general nature of the federal universal service fund and telecommunications relay services, it is the FCC alone that sets the budget size of the funds and develops the fee structure to raise receipts for the funds."

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