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Tax the Network

Aswath Rao is collecting comments on a draft of a letter he plans to send to the FCC over the USF debacle. His position: tax the network, not the applications.  Who knows what services might be built on the internet in the future?  Why single out voice for taxation.

Moreover, he correctly observes that competition amongst service providers is driving the cost of voice services inexorably toward zero.  What is the point of implementing a new tax on VoIP services, as they trend down?  Taxing a zero cost service, like voice, to provide funds for “universal” services is about as logical as selling staterooms on the Titanic while the compartments below are flooding. 

Why not also impose the 911 burden on the network at the same time?  It’s the network that knows where the subscriber is located, not the application.

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