Feds Propose Tax on Wifi Use!

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President Bush has proposed taxing the use of wifi (wireless), and is proposing a “user fee” for “un-auctioned” radio spectrum use.

The proposal is in the president’s 2007 proposed budget, and is believed to be aimed at the unlicensed radio spectrum used for, among other things, wifi.


Says the entry in the proposed budget: “Spectrum assignment policy has not kept pace with the changing market. Service providers using different technologies to deliver a similar product can face different spectrum license acquisition costs. The lack of parity in spectrum assignment creates incentives that can diminish the overall utility of the spectrum.”

It is not clear yet whether this “user fee” would be levied against wifi vendors, or end users.

Either way, it’s lousy.

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13 thoughts on “Feds Propose Tax on Wifi Use!

  1. Maybe they should tax the air we breathe, too; they could make a lot of money off of that…

  2. I suspect this is aimed at public wifi services or municiple networks. Just another way for the goverment to get a cut of the pie.

  3. ugh! i’m tired of all of these taxes! next thing you know, they’ll be charging us tax for email and internet!

  4. Simon, well isn’t cutting cost the same thing as making money ;) No seriously, UK has serious issues so don’t be so glad – your government can’t wait to sell you out! read: national ID card

  5. Nowhere in this link (http://www.rcrnews.com/news.cms?newsId=25545) can you find any actual quotes relating this to Wi-Fi. Believe me, I’ll take just about any dig at King George that I can but this story is pure crap. Put up some real supporting evidence or let this story die.

  6. The way I understand this is the Feds want to start taxing the consumers of Wi-Fi (those laptop users that can access the Web anywhere) just as we pay taxes on your high speed or dial-up services. As new technology arises the government finds new taxes to push onto the consumer while old technology falls to the wayside and is no longer a revenue generator for them.

  7. This isnt for your home wifi connection. They dont regulate anything that doesnt broadcast over a 100 feet.

  8. It’s true…it’s on the front page of wireless news publication RCR News:

    http://www.rcrnews.com/news.cms?newsId=25545

  9. The “Spectrum Assignment Policy” is aimed at older frequencies, like VHF, which will become deprecated after the digital switch. I know nothing of Wifi or anything else under 2.4GHz falling under the bill.

  10. For the record, I did a Google search for the FY2007 budget, and found the quote in the White House overview…

  11. Fortunate for me that I live in England then… it sounds like another “stealth” tax to squeeze ever more money out of the populace. Instead of thinking ways to cut cost, they think of ways to make more money.

  12. While I agree that a user fee attached to wifi would be bad, there is nothing in this quote that indicates that Bush is really proposing this. Just what “spectrum assignment policy”, “spectrum license acquisitions” and “overall utility of the spectrum” would seem to have little to do with a swath of spectrum that is assigned to the public.

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