California Public Utilities Commission said that a new FCC ruling prevented the state from charging a tax on text plans. The state hoped to be able to add new monthly fees to wireless customers’ bills to increase funds for programs that provide connection to child residences. Regulators were scheduled to vote on the operation on January 10, 2019.
The FCC doubted the future of the text tax when issuing a new rule on December 12 to determine text messages constitutes an “information service” – not a “telecommunications service.” CPUC Commissioner Carla Peterman resumed text taxation “in light of the FCC’s action.”
The new FCC’s rapporteurs say that it will allow operators to crack down on spam messages, and critics say it can cause censors to censor messages. The FCC did not respond immediately to a request for comment on Sunday.
CPUC’s proposed text tax stood strong resistance from industry trade, including CTIA, representing AT & T Mobility, Sprint and T-Mobile. (AT & T is CNN’s parent company.)
The industry group said that the CPUC proposal would have created inequality “between wireless operators and other message service providers”, such as WhatsApp, iMessage and Skype. In a legal application, the CTIA called the textual tax plan “illogical, anti-competitive and harmful to consumers.”
CTIA did not respond immediately to a request for comment Sunday.