First Day Of Congress A Mixed Bag On Internet Issues

from the good-with-the-bad dept

With cities and states still making bald-faced attempts at taxing internet services, such as VoIP, it’s good to see that the new Congress seems committed to preventing such actions. Just one day into the new session, proposals have been put forth, from both sides of the aisle, to extend and expand the moratorium on internet taxation. Additionally, there was legislation proposed that would repeal a federal tax on local telephone service — also a good thing. But it was not all good news. Everyone’s favorite Senator, Ted Stevens, wasted no time introducing a bill that would add taxes to broadband bills. Stevens’ measure, which would help extend the series of tubes to rural areas is called the Universal Service for Americans Act. For some reason, both the name and the act’s intent sound awfully familiar to another bad idea. So, if you were hoping that the new Congress might bring about a break from all of the recent partisan wrangling over internet and telecom issues, you’re out of luck.

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Comments on “First Day Of Congress A Mixed Bag On Internet Issues”

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TEMBER says:

Why is it that people feel they are OWED the internet?

Since when is it that if you don’t make enough money for something, or if you choose live in a rural area, everyone else has to foot the bill?

Damn it! I just don’t make enough for that Escalade and I live too far from the dealer. Everyone who owns one should get an excise tax on their loan so that I can get one for really really cheap and it should be hand delivered to my driveway. That sounds fair.

Beefcake says:

Re: Re:

People driving Escalades does nothing to enhance or improve the national infrastructure. High-speed internet may or may not do that either, but at least it can be argued. If we’re requiring hi-def broadcasts for television, subsidized broadband in rural areas (where the food comes from) is at least as viable a need as that.

Dosquatch says:


Why is it that people feel they are OWED the internet?

It’s not internet service I feel is owed, it’s infrastructure. I would pay for high speed internet service, but as no such wire runs past my residence, I cannot. I feel that wire should be there for many reasons, not the least of which is that I HAVE PAID FOR IT. As have you, as has everybody in the US, by way of tax breaks and other incentives given to the telcos in trade for a promise that this infrastructure would already be here by now, and by way of additional charges from the telcos to the consumers allowed for same said promise. I don’t want you to foot the bill, that’s already been done and paid for. What I want is for the telcos to make good on their end of the bargain.

Since when is it that if you don’t make enough money for something, or if you choose live in a rural area, everyone else has to foot the bill?

There is precedent for this, actually. Power companies and phone companies are required to pull lines to your residence, wherever it may be, and to charge no more for their service even if it means that they lose money on your circuit.

… and for the record, I do pop for satellite service.

Beefcake says:

Re: Re:

Hey, free porn is at least as important as high-definition Viagra commercials. Perhaps there’s a connection after all.

Really I’m thinking about things like food-producers having quick access to weather/pricing/etc, remote highway signs somewhere in western Kansas being able to tell travelers “turn around and get a motel or you’re stuck in the snow”; that kind of thing.

Wolff000 says:

No Surprises

Is anyone surprised that we are seeing the same things carry over from last congress? No matter who is in charge they are going to fight and argue with eath other. It’s not like any of them have any incenticve to actually make change. They like things the way theyare it is how they got to be in power no matter what party is in control. Both parties are equally screwed up.

gee says:


this is the same thing they did with the phone companies. They raised taxes to build a better fiber network, gave the $200 billion+ to the telcos and they never built the network.

The same thing will happen with broadband. We will get charged billions of dollars, give it to the cable companies, and still not see any better coverage.

TEMBER says:

I don’t get why everyone is so pissed at Bush – The democrats have moved in and are promising a “New Direction for America..”

Hmmm.. Let’s see here:

1. The stock market is at a new all-time high and America’s 401 K’s are back.

2. Unemployment is at 25 year lows.

3. Oil prices are plummeting.

4. Taxes are at 20 year lows.

5. Federal tax revenues are at all-time highs.

6. The Federal deficit is down almost 50%, just as predicted over last year.

7. Home valuations are up 200% over the past 3.5 years.

8. Inflation is in check, hovering at 20 year lows.

9. Not a single terrorist attack on US soil since 9/11/01.

10. Osama bin Laden is living under a rock in a dark cave, having
not surfaced in years, if he’s alive at all, while 95% of Al Queda’s
top dogs are either dead or in custody, cooperating with US Intel.

11. Several major terrorist attacks already thwarted by US and
British Intel, including the recent planned attack involving 10 Jumbo Jets
being exploded in mid-air over major US cities in order to celebrate
the anniversary of the 9/11/01 attacks.

12. Just as President Bush foretold us on a number of occasions,
Iraq was to be made “ground zero” for the war on terrorism — and
just as President Bush said they would, terrorist cells from all over
the region are arriving from the shado ws of their hiding places
and flooding into Iraq in order to get their faces blown off by
US Army rather than boarding planes and heading to the United
States to wage war on us here.

A new direction from all that means… what?

In the So Called Sticks says:

Why do people who live in big cities think everyone should move to one if they want anything. I do a lot of good for this country even though I live in a small town. Not everyone can live in a city, think about the importance of agriculture. Should farmers have to live in the dark ages? Oh thats right, they should all quit their jobs and move to the city.
More on point, I don’t necessarily agree with subsidization for broadband, but I don’t have access now and know I could grow my business and increase my economic output if I had it.
Some infrastructure subsidization does help the whole country.

TEMBER says:

Re: Re:

So.. because you do a lot of good for this country and choose to live outside of the city… we should pay to charter you a broadband line?

How about.. it’s a perk for city life! There you go! If you choose live out there.. you choose to be stuck with dial-up or satellite. Otherwise, move into the city. Besides, your housing is cheaper than ours because you are living in rural area.. I don’t think that’s fair to us city dwellers. You should have pay extra so our housing is cheap. Sounds great.

Quit your bitchin.

DTatum (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Tember :
If all you do on the internet is download porn, then yes, its simply a perk. But in todays United States, the internet is vastly more incorporated into our daily lives than a simple perk of city life.

No it didn’t start out this way, but more and more, the internet has become a major form of communication & education and facilitator for everything from financial to medical services.

Not having access is becoming more and more a detriment.

Now, I’m not saying that everyone should have top notch broadband access, but I don’t think a kid that can’t afford the internet should be doomed to a 2nd class education simply due to that fact of circumstance.

Mousky says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Fact of circumstance? Housing is much cheaper in rural areas. Perhaps rural dwellers can subsidize us urban dwellers due to our fact of circumstance.

You want broadband in rural areas? Remove the local, state and federal laws and regulations that only help incumbents. Don’t coerce urban dwellers to subsidize rural dwellers.

In the So Called Sticks says:

My housing is cheaper than yours, but the job market and pay scales are significantly smaller, too. Remember, I said I don’t necessarily agree with subsidization for broadband, but I am looking for an answer.
Broadband is not a city perk. I don’t know what is…maybe prostitutes. All I am saying is that access to information for all citizens is a good thing, it helps grow the entire economy. By the way, I hate you for making me sound like a liberal, believe me I am not. Again, I am just looking for an answer.

TEMBER says:

What circumstance? Not being able to afford something is not a circumstance. Not living in a certain area is not a circumstance.

Having an airplane crash into your house is a circumstance.

Besides, I never said they shouldn’t get the internet. I’m talking high speed here. How is some poor kid going to have a 2nd rate education because his internet connection is slower?

Oh and as far as the internet being incorporated into our daily lives… yea, well – not to those who dont have it right?

All the kids at my son’s school might have PS3’s – but he doesn’t. Should I go out and buy one now? No… You can’t lose out on something you never had to begin with.


misanthropic humanist says:

Re: The English language

Circumstance: a condition, detail, part, or attribute, with respect to time, place, manner,agent, etc., that accompanies, determines, or modifies a fact or event.

“Being able to afford something is not a circumstance.”

It is a circumstance.

“Living in a certain area is not a circumstance.”

It is a circumstance.

“Having an airplane crash into your house is a circumstance”

The one example you picked is NOT a circumstance, it is an event.

Nully Null says:


The tel/cable companies want the “right of way”, to build their infrastructure on OUR PUBLIC land.

So I think it quite reasonable for somebody living in the boonies feeling that they should benefit from the use of PUBLIC land when it occur within their area.

Once we goto Wifi it will somewhat simplified however, the airwaves are PUBLIC as well so there going to have to give some back there too.

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