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On Fri, 11 Nov 1994, Jeff Jones wrote:
 
> >
> > [log in to unmask] writes:
> > >I believe the usage tax on the Net will be similar to the road usage tax paid
> >  by large trucking firms who use the national highway system.
> > >
> > >It will probably evolve around the number of bits a user moves from point A to
> >  point Z, and any intermeadiate stops.
> > >
> > >As bandwidth increases, I think the marginal cost (to the user) of moving a bit
> >  across the Net will inversely decrease.
>
> What bothers me about all this is that the cost of accessing the internet
> is probably going to go up. This will translate into less users and less
> access to the net. I feel that this will start to lock out more and more
> users like schools, public freenets, bbs's and others that depend on
> cheap access to the internet. Which doesn't surprise me that the forces
> that be are uncomfortable with the general public having access to
> information that coporations can't control. The best way to control this
> is to increase the cost of access to the internet. We don't want the
> general public to know more about union organizers being shot in
> Guatemalan Coke bottling plants then about OJ Simpson's trial do we?
>
> Jeff
>
Hello,
 
The central issue, to use a technical term which I apologize in advance
for, is
whether the fees would be regressive or progressive.  That is, with the
former, the less economically endowed, like with sales taxes,
would pay more than their proportionate share for services-- a
progressive tax ties the tax rate to the taxpayer's ability to pay the
tax.  A 10% sales tax on the poor is more onerous on them than the same
tax on a rich person.
 
Given the regressivity of fees and charges, this is the central challenge
to the Administration's desire to ensure that the goal of universal
access--in the sense that all can reasonably afford to hook-up, and not
in the sense that every big purveyor of services like cable companies,
Viacom, Time-warner can offer their wares over the net.  Charge-nets, in
probably every form, work against universal access, in the sense in which
the "economically challenged"  (aka the "electronic have-nots"), can
avail themselves of central services, and thus
we run the risk of creating yet another chasm between those who can and
cannot afford a key service.
 
It is for this reason that I argue for a financial structure that places
the financial burden on non-PEG functions.  If you want to pay in a MUD,
or see the latest theatrical release, and the like, then may you pay the
freight for those who *need* the net for PEG services.
 
Your views?
 
Regards,
 
Brent Wall
 
Leon County Free-Net Project