Internet tax

The title of this post is a little bit misleading, as we propose a tax on telecommunication. Why should we have a tax on internet or telecommunication? We favor such tax for funding public broadcasting, an alternative compensation scheme and subsidies for open-source software.

The tax we propose is collected by Internet Service providers as part of collecting subscription fees from their client. This has several benefits to traditional television licensing, in particular in regard of enforcement.

If one refuses to pay his subscription fee with included tax, his ISP will cut him of until he will pay his due fees. This is much less efforts than employing officials to inspect household on whether they own unlicensed televisions.

There two basic forms for an internet tax. The first one is a sales tax-type, i.e. a percentage of one’s subscription fees. If one pays 30 MT in monthly internet subscription fees, one will pay a 15% tax on it (is 4,50 MT). This tax could depend on one’s internet speed.

Alternatively, the internet tax could be a per-bit charge, i.e. the more data one uses the more one pays. This makes sense within the context of an alternative compensation scheme. It seems reasonable that people who regularly download eBooks, movies and software should pay more than people who do not.

A combination of these two types is possible. Everyone with internet access will pay a certain percentage of the subscription fee, and above a certain threshold one will also pay for data consumed. This threshold depends on average data consumption.

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