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FCC Chief Backs Net Phone Taxes

Saturday, January 1, 2005

Abstract

Chairman Kevin Martin said that imposing new taxes on more Internet phone users will probably be a priority next year for the FCC. The issue arose with regard to the Universal Service Fund (USF), which subsidizes services in rural and other high-cost areas, schools, and libraries. Long-distance, pay, wireless, and regular telephone services pay into the fund. Not determined are how such taxes will affect voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) providers and other telecommunications services. Some of the companies that provide VoIP services already contribute to the USF, but no regulations require such participation."We need to move to collection for the Universal Service Fund that is technology-neutral," said Martin. Congress also is expected to address changes to universal service reform in 2006.

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