10 months ago
USA Today broke the news about California’s intention to charge mobile phone users a fee for sending text messages, and everyone is literally shocked! The plan is currently in the works at CA Public Utilities Commission. Reportedly, the proposal is being drafted because of the shift towards more texting from the landline users. The Typical Student team learned how it’s going to affect students.
Are Telecom Companies Trying to Increase Their Revenue?
Overtime, mobile phone users have switched to texting instead of making phone calls, so the state tax programs have been losing their voice call revenue by about 1/3, from $16.5 billion (2011) to $11.3 billion (2017), according to statistic. At the same time, the budget for subsidizing low-income users has increased by almost 50%, from $670 million (2011) to $998 million (2017).
The added fees, however, are likely to disadvantage the carriers "since messaging services like Apple's iMessage, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger would not be charged under the proposed legislation", reports USA Today.
Who’s Going to Be Affected The Most?
According to the information presented in the legal findings, the California commission has "repeatedly" demonstrated it’s treating text messaging as an information service. Students will probably be the ones to suffer the most if the regulations are put on vote, since who else loves texting as much as they do? Meanwhile the wireless customers are expressing their concerns on social media about the bill which has not been put on vote yet.
Twitter user @Myblueheavenn writes: "Of course California wants to tax your text messages. They would tax your toilet use if they could."
Twitter user @Kmoliverio1 writes: "OMG! Now a California proposal wants to tax text-messaging, retroactive for 5 years."
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