California has decided to reverse a plan that could have affected frequent texters in the state. The state has announced that it is with drawing the plan to tax mobile phone plans of the residents. The previous plan was to apply a tax on mobile phone plans and SMS messages so that the additional funds can be used for other purposes. Now that it has been withdrawn, California residents won’t have to worry.
California Public Utilities Commission took both the decisions. The first decision was made so that the extra money from the taxes could be used for financing 911 services as well as subsidized phone plans that have been made for California residents with lower income. As per the decision, if applied, residents would have had to pay an amount of $1.40 in terms of tax for every $20.
The decision to withdraw the plan comes in light of the FCC’s recent announcement. Federal Communication Commission ruled that SMS messages cannot be considered as a telecommunication service and that they’re actually an information service. This practically prevents the CPUC from applying an extra tax on SMSs even if the purpose is encouraged.
Of course, both telecom carriers and users have been against the idea from the very beginning. A collective of telecom carriers in the California state had said that the decision will add burden to the common users out there. The collective also showed proof that SMS messages are still widely used by Americans, in light of the fact that 1.77 Trillion messages were exchanged in 2017 alone.
Now that the state has withdrawn the decision, it has been well-received by both consumers and telecom carriers as said. The CPUC has not released an official statement on the same, as to what would happen to the plans of extending 911 services.