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Kansas lawmakers are proposing a new legislation that would require customers of Internet-based phone services to pay monthly fees into two subsidy programs, reports Kansas CIty Business Journal. First, the customers will have to pay about 50 cents a month towards a fund to establish an enhanced-911 service. Secondly, they would be required to pay a fee that goes toward the universal service fund that provides subsidized rural phone service. Kansas is the latest among states trying to squeeze their pint of blood from VoIP. California, and Minnesota are others who are fighting the FCC and federal mandates to leave VoIP alone.
Utilities Committee Chairman Carl Holmes, R-Liberal, said the committee would need to examine VoIP’s effect on rural phone service. Holmes said he’s concerned that the number of VoIP lines in service could grow from around 8 percent in 2004 to 80 percent in 2008, which he said would drain state subsidy programs that make sure rural customers receive reliable service.
Not sure where Holmes is getting his numbers but boy is he a VoIP bull or what. Ironically, Holmes name comes up with highly compromised independent research organization, The Heartland Institute. He apparently doesn’t care much for any of the new technologies. For instance, he thought renewable energy sources were a waste of state resources, and education was a better investment.