FCC Proposed Internet Tax: FCC Chief Backs Away (explainer)

Written by Gina Smith

Amidst growing controversy, the head of the FCC who put forth the proposal to tax Internet broadband users distances himself …

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski — who backed and garnered major tech company support for a broadband Internet user tax — now is turning tail.

Genachowski has said the intent of the proposed tax is to pay for new broadband infrastructure rural Americans who don’t yet have access.

Political opposition built recently as the Genachowskyi-proposed FCC Internet Tax moved forward. It flies in the face of the 1996 Internet Tax Freedom Act, opponents say.

This FCC proposal under fire has been up for review and comments in a public forum since April.

Google, AT&T and a number of other major tech companies publicly support it. The idea is the money would aiphon into the so-called Connect America Fund, an FCC-created subsidy program for bringing U.S. broadband Internet access to more Americans.

A ton of opposition recently emerged. The real question is whether this tax further expands Internet broadband access or hinders it by taxing it. From the The Hill.com:

The Federal Communications Commission is rapidly backpedalling from a proposal to tax broadband Internet service after a public outcry over the issue. Democrats and Republicans at the agency are now blaming each other for pushing the idea in the first place. Neil Grace, a spokesman for Chairman Julius Genachowski, said the commission only made the proposal “following the urging of Republican Commissioners and members of Congress.” FULL STORY FROM THEHILL.COM HERE.

I took a look at this proposed tax and explained how much it likely would cost U.S. broadband customers — a buck or two or even more — on a recent episode of TechNow. It’s below. Full story here. Internet Tax as proposed by FCC Explained: TechNow with Gina Smith


Image credit, FCC building: Wikimedia Commons