Given the telcos' newfound love of laissez-faire, who's taking bets on whether they'll stand up against an FCC proposal to start levying taxes on VoIP providers? This has been coming down the line for some time now, though it looks set to happen with the appointment of a third Republican to the FCC. Now before you start wondering whether you've fallen into an alternate universe where Republicans favor higher taxes, take note that he's a former telco lawyer (breathe, order restored). The arguments against VoIP's classification as a telecom service, and thus compelled to pay Univeral Service Fees, barely need restatement, as it's arbitrary to view voice data as different from emails or any other online services. This will only get trickier as voice gets closer to being completely free, like when two people talk over AIM or Skype. Will they move to tax those services as Universal Service Fees continue to dry up? Considering that the government just lifted the 108-year old phone tax to pay for the Spanish-American War, it's obvious the government won't go down easily in its quest for cash.
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