A report earlier this week suggests that one state plans to charge mobile users for text messaging.
State regulators in California are planning charge mobile phone users a text messaging fee intended to fund programs that make phone service accessible to the low-income residents.
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is scheduled to vote on the proposal in January; however, there has already been opposition against the scheme, according to reports from San Jose Mercury News.
According to a CPUC report, revenue for the program is declining as more telephone landline use drops off and make fewer voice calls in favor of text messaging. California lost more than five billion dollars from 2011 to 2017, according to CPUC reports.
The wireless industry and other business groups have been pushing back against the text-for-the-poor-fee proposal.
It’s a dumb idea,” said Jim Wunderman, president of the Bay Area Council business-sponsored advocacy group. “This is how conversations take place in this day and age, and it’s almost like saying there should be a tax on the conversations we have.”
Industry and business leaders say that it’s unclear the number of consumers expected to pay the fee is unclear, the new text charges could cost users over $44 million a year, according to reports from FOX11 Los Angeles.
Back charges is also a possibility which could amount to billing consumers of up to $220 million, says the Mercury News.
Opponents against the charge say the consumers already pay into Public Purpose Program funded at nearly $1 billion, but state regulators disagree and want more funds.