Monday, May 08, 2006

Gordon Smith's Broadband for America Act Will Tax the Internet

Senator Gordon H. Smith Pitches Telecom Bill

Priority Reforms Needed to Create Jobs, Build Rural Economies

April 25th, 2006 - WASHINGTON, DC - Today, U.S. Senator Gordon H. Smith (R-OR) addressed the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association’s Legislative and Policy Conference and outlined his Broadband for America Act of 2006. The proposal is a ‘disciplined’ and ‘directed’ piece of legislation that the Senate can swiftly pass to promote the construction of new broadband networks in rural America.

It may seem that I have a poor opinion of Gordo, but that is hardly the case. The truth is I detest him and his crooked policies, and will be overjoyed when he is voted out of office. It is documented, that he is involved in the Jack Abramoff scandal, and that he lobbied in congress for the so called "HEALTHY FOREST'S INIATIVE".
GEEZER POWER: Ranger Gordon Don't Know Jack

New bill would impose Universal Service Fund fees for broadband access

4/25/2006 3:13:29 PM, by Eric Bangeman

In a speech given today at an industry meeting, Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR) outlined a new telecom bill. Called the Broadband for America Act of 2006, the bill is intended to spread the broadband loving from sea to shining sea.

It would also set aside up to US$500 million annually to provide broadband in places where fast Internet is not currently available. These would presumably be rural sites and other areas that broadband ISPs deem too unprofitable to invest in.

Where does one come up with US$500 million in a time of soaring budgets and government spending? With a new tax. More precisely, payments into the Universal Service Fund would be expanded from telephone service providers (e.g., landline, long distance, and cellular) to cover "any company capable of carrying 2-way voice communication." That would mean USF fees would be tacked on the broadband bills of American ISP customers.

The USF was conceived of as a way to provide telecommunications services to qualifying low-income US residents, schools and libraries, rural health care providers, and high-cost-to-serve areas. Originally subsidized exclusively by long-distance service, it was expanded in 1996 to encompass all wired and wireless phone service. Under the terms of Smith's bill, broadband ISPs would be required to contribute, and they in turn are all but certain to pass the increased fees on to consumers.

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