Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Universal Insanity

I just had a question put to me at work about our latest series of AT&T invoices against our private line/T1 circuit and there was something completely insane on it.

When the Internet started taking, a bunch of cherished elites (most notable AlGore from what I recall) demanded that a method be found to subsidize internet access to rural places that are several orders removed from the main telcos technology grid. Why this was I have no idea. The Internet just isn't all that great, and for those who placed a premium on watching YouTube videos, they were free to move to a more urban environment if that kind of thing is that important to them.

These politocs couldn't bring themselves to push down a direct tax, so they resorted to something called the Universal Connectivity Charge that was charged to the telcos themselves in the pretend belief that this charge would never get passed down to the consumer.

If the charge was minor, AT&T and others might have found some way to bury it in the normal charges (which is doubtful itself since AT&T has no qualms about sending out 25 page invoices for a single circuit). However, my quick math shows this to be a 10% surcharge on our circuit, or closing in on $200 a month! $200 so some hillbillies can get computer viruses from Korea!*

"Whoa Sandmich" you say "that is insane!"

However my friend, that's not even the insane part. Oh no no no no. You know American government can do worse than that. No, the insane part is that we're charged a sales tax on the Universal Connectivity 'Fee'. That's right, we're charged a tax for paying a tax.

*I've had some dealings in rural Ohio, and I can say that the Internet connectivity has not improved one bit in these places over the ten years that this charge has been levied, so I've no idea what hole it's being dropped down.

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