FCC eyes tax on Internet service........helping to pay for obama's "Free Phones"?(TheHill).By Brendan Sasso.The Federal Communications Commission is eyeing a proposal to tax broadband Internet service.
The move would funnel money to the Connect America Fund, a subsidy the agency created last year to expand Internet access.
The FCC issued a request for comments on the proposal in April. Dozens of companies and trade associations have weighed in, but the issue has largely flown under the public's radar.
"If members of Congress understood that the FCC is contemplating a broadband tax, they'd sit up and take notice," said Derek Turner, research director for Free Press, a consumer advocacy group that opposes the tax.
Numerous companies, including ATandT, Sprint and even Google have expressed support for the idea.
Consumers already pay a fee on their landline and cellular phone bills to support the FCC's Universal Service Fund. The fund was created to ensure that everyone in the country has access to telephone service, even if they live in remote areas.
Last year, the FCC overhauled a $4.5 billion portion of the Universal Service Fund and converted it into a broadband Internet subsidy, called the Connect America Fund.
The Connect America Fund, a Obama administration-supported plan for universal broadband, is part of a larger $4.5 billion mission to connect 19 million homes to bit-torrent streaming speeds by 2020.
The new fund aims to subsidize the construction of high-speed Internet networks to the estimated 19 million Americans who currently lack access. Julius Genachowski, the FCC's chairman, has made expanding broadband access his top priority. He argues that a high-speed Internet connection is critical for succeeding in the 21st century economy and that expanding Internet access is the country's next great infrastructure challenge.
But the money for the new Internet subsidy is still coming from the fees on phone bills.
And in recent years, with more people sending emails instead of making long-distance phone calls, the money flowing into the program has begun to dry up. The Universal Service fee has had to grow to a larger and larger portion of phone bills to compensate.
The FCC floated a number of ideas for reforming the fund's contribution system. In addition to the broadband fee, the commission also sought comments on taxing text messages, as well as levying a flat fee on each phone line, instead of the current system, which is based on a portion of the revenue from interstate phone calls.
The commission only sought input on the ideas and did not indicate whether it planned to move ahead with any of them, including the broadband fee.Hmmmm......Buying votes with taxpayer funded free phones.Does it come with free text messages from Barack Hussein Obama?Read the full story here.
Flashback: MFS - The Other News - Obama Phone: Gov to Spend $2,4 Billion taxpayer money On Millions of Free Phones In 2012.
What We're Up Against: The Obama Phone.(RushLimbaugh).Here are the details of this. There's a website, ObamaPhone.net. I'm going to read to you: "The Obama Phone Program. What exactly is the free Obama phone? The free Obama phone is a program that is meant to help the financially unstable who cannot afford access to a cell phone. Communication should not be limited to people in relation to what they are able to afford." They actually call it the Obama phone.
And here are some frequently asked questions from the Obama phone website: "How do I Get an Obama Phone?
"What is the Obama Phone?
"Who Qualifies for an Obama Phone?
"Who Pays for the Obama Phone?
"Is the Obama Phone Real?"
Now, in the "who pays for the Obama phone," in the Obama phone questions: "Lifeline is a government sponsored program, but who is paying for it. Some people claim that the government is using taxpayer's money to run this program, however, the claim is false.
Universal Service Fund (USF) which is administered by Federal Communication Commission along the Universal Service Administration Company (USAC), pays for the Lifeline phone assistance program."
So you and I are paying for Obama phones via the charges that are tacked on to our phone bill for the Universal Service Fund. The Al Gore tax, do you remember that tax? It's still on your phone bill. To wire farms for land line phones. We are still paying that tax. And then there's Internet taxes, Internet access for the poor and number of other things. The outfit that administers that is the Universal Service Fund.
If you can decipher your phone bill you pay every month a tax that goes into the Universal Service Fund and that's what's buying Obama phones and providing service for the people who use them. And, of course, it's known who has them. It's known what their numbers are. And they can be mass texted, individually, I would assume. But, look, before you panic, folks, this is not new. This has been out there for years, and Obama is in dire straits. When you hear about this, and you think, "How do we fight this? Oh my gosh."