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ISPs ask FCC for tax on Big Tech to fund broadband networks and discounts

Illustration of $100-dollar bills being sucked into a broadband network.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Aurich Lawson)

Internet service providers are again urging the Federal Communications Commission to impose new fees on Big Tech firms and use the money to subsidize broadband network deployment and affordability programs. If approved, the request would force Big Tech firms to pay into the FCC’s Universal Service Fund (USF), which in turn distributes money to broadband providers.

The request was made on June 6 by USTelecom, a lobby group for AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink/Lumen, and smaller telcos. USTelecom has made similar arguments before, but its latest request to the FCC argues that the recent death of a broadband discount program should spur the FCC to start extracting money from Big Tech.

“Through focusing on the Big Tech companies who benefit most from broadband connectivity, the Commission will fairly allocate the burden of sustaining USF,” USTelecom wrote in the FCC filing last week.

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