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Obama Would Raise Cell Phone Taxes to Fund Broadband

Article Comments  48  

Aug 15, 2013, 7:56 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

President Obama has proposed a plan to bring faster broadband access to the nation's schools. The plan, called ConnectEd, would improve internet access at 99% of schools around the country. Obama thinks this could help education initiatives that rely on connectivity and the internet. Obama is attempting to circumvent Congress in order to get the program approved swiftly. Doing so, however, requires the approval of the Federal Communications Commission. According to the Washington Post, the plan will carry costs of between $4 and $6 billion. In order to fund the plan, Obama is proposing to increase the taxes on monthly cell phone bills. The program would require each line of service to contribute about $12 over a period of three years, meaning it would cost cell phone owners about $4 per year in additional taxes. The FCC needs to approve this tax increase in order for the ConnectEd plan to work. Republicans have promised to fight the proposal. "Most consumers would balk at higher costs, higher phone bills, and I sure hope that this is not part of the equation that ultimately comes out," said Rep. Fred Upton, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. "If they pursue that course, there's going to be pushback, absolutely." Right now, there are two democrats and one republican sitting in three of the FCC's five seats. Obama has nominated replacements for the two empty seats, but it is unlikely they will be installed before the matter comes to a vote. The wireless industry, including the CTIA, generally opposes new taxes placed on consumers.



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Aug 16, 2013, 2:32 PM

The Act of 1871 is where it all went wrong

My subject title says it all.... When DC became that 10 mile track they created a pseudo government in place of the legit constitutional government where the people were sovereign we had rights in the land and didn't have to apply for licenses and such "Free man in the land" is just that. But now that people have not questioned everything the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Corporation took of the Untied states of america why do you think the name of our "country is in all caps when you see it spelled out ? It's because it is now a corporation and not a country. Why do you think your name on your bank card is in all CAPS??? People have been asleep way to long and this is why this all keeps taking place People blame Obama,Bush, and so on but they ar...
Back up just a little. The preceding War where they squashed States Rights and allowed the President to run the country like a dictator with no accountability is where we lost all of our freedom in the name of freedom. Ironic isn't it.

Aug 15, 2013, 8:34 AM

From taxpayers' pockets?

It's a worthy cause, but can't they raise the money some other way? My phone bill comes out to just over $100 per month.
yes they could tax prepay service the same way they do contract phone lines.
My monthly bill is more than that, but I'd be willing to pay two bits extra if it means improving our schools' connectivity. Honestly, the pushback on it is because "taxes", not because it's actually an amount of taxation that would make any bit of d...
Yeah, it's called 'let the private sector handle it'....

Seriously, the government is already fricking bankrupt, we are already worse off than Greece, we don't have the money to go on another massive 'infrastructure building' exercise....and it isn...

Aug 15, 2013, 9:01 AM

Cheap for Connecting Schools to Broadband

Let's break this down:

$4 per year is about 19 cents a month for 3 years.

And we get High Speed build out (1 Gig) to EVRY school means HIGH SPEED buildout to neighborhood that need a speed boost or have no broadband at all. It may mean public access at school via their networks for the public.

Plus this buildout would only enhance at home entrepreneurs/startups by supplying bandwidth they need.

Puts people to work laying fiber, improves the economy.

19 cents per month for 3 years is not that much considering the benefits.
It's just another massive pile of money being flushed down the toilet by the government....

If it was cost efficient to provide broadband service to every school in the country some private company would already be doing it...all we're going to do ...
I don't care if its one cent per month, its wrong, if you want to build out broadband then let everyone pay, not just tack a surcharge, tax or whatever bovinedefication they will call it. Make it funded by the whole population. I pay enough in taxes...

Aug 17, 2013, 12:11 AM

Broadband for Schools

This is another amazing scam by our government. How do the wireless customers benefit from this additional taxes and fees if its for school systems. How about getting involved in what the wireless carriers charge for service and find a way to get unlimited data back for all carriers. I dont see how I would benefit from these additional taxes if I dont go to school. Its a way to just bleed the American People more and more, and the majority have no more blood to bleed for this country.
And on top of that it is a solution in search of a problem.....giving every school free broadband won't do anything to improve the quality of education.

This attitude, that 'if we only had this new technology in the schools all of our problems woul...
T Bone

Aug 15, 2013, 12:21 PM

Enough Already!

Wireless service is already taxed more than just about any other commodity in the country, just look at your wireless bill and see how much of it already goes towards taxes.....more than half of the line items on your monthly bill are some tax or other...the 'government fees and taxes' portion of the bill is the longest section....


No more damn tax increases on our wireless service!
I am with you on this. We are taxed about 75% between payroll taxes, sales tax from the states, property taxes, health insurance is almost like another tax. 90% of the people are beyond being bleed for money in taxes

Aug 15, 2013, 9:45 AM


His answer to everything is to raise taxes. And because he knows he can't get it through Congress he wants to gouge the American public through the FCC. But it has never occurred to him that he might need to balance the budget and spend responsibly. They put people in jail for managing their checking accounts the way he manages our tax dollars.
yup he's destroying America and that's his plan!
It's funny because a lot of my un-informed college age friends all voted for Obama saying he wasn't going to raise taxes on the middle class. They hated Romney because he said if he needed to raise taxes he would raise them on everyone. I guess they w...

Aug 15, 2013, 11:38 AM

4$ per account or per owner?

i have family plan with 3 lines.
does this mean i will be paying 12$ a year?
It would be per line of service.

So yes, you would pay an additional 12 dollars a year.

Aug 15, 2013, 9:50 AM

tax prepay the same as a contract phone.

Here is a great idea. Tax prepay service with fees equal to the contract lines. Why should a contract person pay a monthly fee, when someone who buys prepay only pay an exttra $1 or so in fees, for what is being advertised as equal quality service.
But that wouldn't hurt the pockets of Obama's target audience- the middle class.
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