A Taxing Issue for Broadband and Channel Partners 2012
Earlier this week the FCC reversed itself and decided not to pursue taxing broadband to supplement the funding of the Universal Service Fund (USF). The USF is funded through taxes on wireline services. Since the use of wireline services is dropping due to increased use of wireless services and applications, the USF has seen its funding strained. I applaud the change in direction, as the cost of broadband is still too high when considering the budgets of middle class families facing the pressures of higher priority spending.
As we approach November and election day, once again the FCC will find itself as a political football between the Democrats and Republicans. While we have not agreed with every decision of the FCC led by Chairman Julius Genachowski. Moving forward on the reform of USF and InterCarrier Compensation and other long delayed critical areas was an important step in providing direction to the telecommunications community. These new rules allow for carriers to make decisions regarding investment in infrastructure and, of course, new services and applications.
Given the need to expand funding options for the USF, both parties acknowledge changes need to be made. However, a discussion of new taxes or “fees” during a presidential election cycle is a nonstarter. A better time for a possible solution or compromised will be after the election regardless of the winner.
Channel Partner 2012
As the new EVP for Channel sales at ANPI, it was very important for me to begin to reconnect with the channel community in my new role. As usual, the event has been well attended with a high level of energy and excitement. IP communications and hosted services dominate the areas of discussion. It is always good to sit in on a few sessions to hear industry leaders discuss how these and other services will deliver the needed products our customers require and how this will result in the growing the businesses of our channel partners.
I also want to congratulate the Top 15 Channel Managers, including Matt Sharp with whom I worked the last four years. He deserved the praise. His partners appreciate his support every day.