Monday, May 4, 2015

FCC's Internet Utility Cash Cow

One of the best ways a federal agency can pursue its own policies is by raising revenue by imposing regulatory fees and penalties on commerce and individual citizens.  Recently, the FCC reclassified internet providers as utility companies.  No one mentioned this was a cash cow.

FCC member Ajit Pai reported the potential for millions of dollars that could be shoveled into this agency’s coffers.  CNS reported the following:

The reclassification of Internet providers as utilities allows the FCC to impose what is known as a “Universal Service Fund” (USF) tax on their revenue. The USF has grown exponentially in recent years, and presently stands at $12 billion annually – so large that the FCC has requested it be allowed to transfer $25 million of the money to its own budget to “administer” the fund. As a result, some in Congress have proposed limiting the size of the USF to $9 billion

And then this: also asked Pai to describe his position on the budget request submitted by the FCC to Congress this year.

“We should deny funding for some of the things the FCC wants to spend money on. Any funds, for example, to enforce these net neutrality regulations, [and] this shift of $25 million from the Universal Service Fund to the FCC itself in order to pursue its own policy priorities – I think we need to do more with less. I don’t think we’re doing that by asking for a much higher budget,” Pai said.

 Mr. Pai is concerned the FCC will eventually use its authority to stifle conservative political speech on the internet.  This could happen.  We’ve already witnessed abuses by other agencies like the EPA and the IRS.  I’m sure the FCC is infested with progressive thugs just waiting for the chance to harass uppity Americans who dare question the federal government.


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