Friday, March 13, 2015

New Obama Internet regulations mean new taxes and less service, critics say

The Federal Communications Commission released more than 300 pages of Internet regulations Thursday, which critics say will increase the cost of Internet and slow improvements.

The regulations, which include “net neutrality” rules, were called for by President Obama and approved by a 3-to-2 vote of FCC commissioners. Opponents say the regulations are an illegal bureaucratic power grab, and that if they are allowed to stand in court they will do harm.

“The consequences: higher broadband prices, slower speeds… less innovation, and fewer options for American consumers,” Ajit Pai, a commissioner at the FCC, said in his dissent.

So in plain English, what is in all the 317 pages of new rules?

Paves the way for new taxes

The regulations talk about a new tax on Internet providers in a positive light, noting it could add “to the stability of the universal service fund,” which subsidizes building connections in unprofitable areas.

The new regulations pave the way for new taxes, because they define Internet service providers as “public utilities” – which could subject them to the many taxes levied on phone service companies.

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