The FCC took another step towards heavily regulating telephone replacement VoIP services, ruling that its providers must pay 7 percent of their revenues into the Universal Service Fund, a move which had been expected for some time. What makes the announcement a little more curious is that DSL providers won't have to pay into the fund after August, so, as Reuters puts it, "the FCC had to act to avoid a potential shortfall of hundreds of millions of dollars." Funny how DSL providers -- otherwise known as telcos -- will no longer have to pay in, while at the same time, the VoIP companies that are stealing their voice subscribers get hit with what amounts to a 7 percent tax. Given the rather chummy relationship between the current commission and the big telcos, it's pretty hard to see this as a coincidence, but instead yet another sign of the FCC commissioner's double standards on regulation and continued protection of incumbent telcos.
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