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Higher cellphone fee could pay for Internet for students

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Updated: 8/17/2013 7:37 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A higher fee on cellphone bills from Uncle Sam would pay for a new project to connect more school children to the web.

Some in Washington say it's a waste of money.

President Barack Obama wants to add a fee to the already long list of taxes and surcharges cellphone owners find on their bill every month.

The extra money would be used to provide high-speed internet to 99 percent of students across the country within five years.

The average cellphone user would pay about 40 cents more a month or $3 to $5 more a year.

"That would expand educational opportunities for students in a really important way. It would also give teachers access to materials," spokesperson Josh Earnest said in a White House briefing.

The estimated cost of the plan is between $4 billion and $6 billion.

Taxpayer watchdogs say it's too expensive.

"Taxpayers are paying billions of dollars in other programs to do this. This program is duplicative. It's a new tax," David Williams of the Taxpayer Protection Alliance said.

The goal isn't necessarily controversial but the way the president is going about it is.

Congress is supposed to approve any new taxes.

The president is turning to the Federal Communications Commission to impose the tax.

"There's checks and balances for a reason. When you go around those checks and balances, it only hurts the system and consumers," Williams said.

The FCC is an independent agency.

Some Republicans are promising congressional hearings to pressure the FCC to side against the plan.
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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

FlSunRise87 - 8/19/2013 1:12 PM
0 Votes
Another AWESOME idea that'll never see the life of day.. I carry my laptop and ipad around at all times, do i always have internet connections to jump onto? no. Would I LOVE to be able to do my school work while at work, you bet your ass, will obama follow through, haha NO.

osprey1 - 8/17/2013 2:09 PM
0 Votes
Just tell them to go to the library and if that's a problem, close the libraries. They get the money needed and it won't be out of our pockets. and besides didn't Clinton/Gore administration already take care of this ?

wishmistress - 8/17/2013 2:45 AM
1 Vote
GRRRR! How long before the leaches and parasites have everything in the world that they need while we WHO ARE FOOTING THE BILL will have NOTHING?
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