May 12, 2020
The House of Representatives Wants to Add a “Universal Service Fund” Fee (tax) to your Internet Bill (H.R 6723).
Most of these fees would be used to subsidize telephone companies to provide broadband service in rural areas. Would you be surprised to learn that many rural telecom providers “wholeheartedly” endorse this bill? InfoWest opposes taxes on internet services. We hope you will join us in fighting this bill.
√ USF fees of up to 25% greatly increase the cost of phone service and would also make broadband less affordable
√ USF fees are often used to subsidize providers that stifle competition and choice in their markets
√ USF fees are given to companies who have not delivered promised broadband improvements in states like Utah
√ Billions of dollars of USF fees have been wasted on bankrupt telecoms like Windstream and Frontier
For over 25 years, InfoWest has invested to provide rural areas with high-speed internet at an affordable price, all without government subsidies. Please tell your congressional representative to say No to the Universal Broadband Act.
What is the USF? Created by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the Universal Service Fund attempts to provide consumers in rural areas with access to high-speed internet and long-distance voice services. USF contributions are currently collected from a percentage of long-distance voice service revenues. As you can guess, long-distance phone calls have dramatically declined in popularity. (Goodbye, landlines!) Due to this decline in contributions, there is an increasing burden on those who are required to contribute. Government officials say that the USF does not currently generate enough revenue to sustain itself long. The Universal Broadband Act is an attempt to support this fund for years to come.
What does this mean for you?
If passed, the Universal Broadband Act will require broadband internet users to pitch in.
While other facets of this bill may create greater oversight for government agencies, one major downfall is the proposed cost that will be passed on to consumers of broadband internet services. The fee is essentially a tax on the Internet. InfoWest believes in a free and fair market for our customers. For over 25 years, we have strived to provide rural areas with quality high-speed internet at an affordable price. The government continues to add rules and regulations that create a stiff barrier of entry in many small towns, making the cost of providing broadband service to rural America climb. Instead of mandating an additional fee, the government should lower regulations so broadband companies can better compete with larger government-subsidized internet companies. Our goal at InfoWest continues to be to provide high-speed internet for more rural populations at affordable prices.
Take Action – contact your state’s representatives and tell them to vote against the Universal Broadband Act