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This bill imposes a surcharge on all retail telecommunication services, retail commercial mobile radio services and retail interconnected voice over internet protocol services to be used for a broadband fund for remote and underserved communities.
Personal Choice and Responsibility
It’s ten-million in taxes that will hurt all Oregonians – especially those with low and moderate incomes. This regressive tax will have a negative impact on working families and burden those who rely most on wireless as a vital lifeline.
Amended-Establishes Broadband Fund and transfers an amount equal to the lesser of $10 million or the remainder in the universal service fund above $30 million per year to Broadband Fund for providing grants and loans.
Prohibits Public Utility Commission from exercise of regulatory authority over mobile radio service and interconnected voice over Internet protocol service providers. Under federal law, state USF surcharges can only be applied to Intrastate telephone service. Interstate telephone service is subject to the federal USF charge, and Internet Access and other information services are not subject to either state or federal USF surcharges. Currently, Oregon has one of the highest USF surcharges in the country at 8.5 percent of Intrastate revenues.
The industry says it doesn’t make sense to tax one kind of service – to subsidize a completely different kind of internet service.