California abandons plan to tax text messages

California regulators no longer plan to tax text messages.The California Public Utilities Commission said a new FCC ruling prevented the state from le...

Posted: Dec 17, 2018 5:26 AM

California regulators no longer plan to tax text messages.

The California Public Utilities Commission said a new FCC ruling prevented the state from levying a tax on text plans. The state hoped to add new monthly fees onto wireless customers' bills to increase funds for programs that bring connectivity to underserved residents. Regulators were scheduled to vote on the measure on January 10, 2019.

The FCC put the text tax's future in doubt when it issued a new rule on December 12 determining text messages constitute an "information service" — not a "telecommunications service." CPUC commissioner Carla Peterman withdrew the text tax propsal "in light of the FCC's action."

Proponents of the FCC's new rule say it will give carriers the ability to crack down on spam messages, and critics say it could lead to carriers censoring messages. The FCC did not immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday.

The CPUC's proposed text tax faced strong opposition from industry trade groups, including CTIA, which represents AT&T Mobility, Sprint, and T-Mobile. (AT&T is the parent company of CNN.)

The industry group said the CPUC proposal would have created inequity "between wireless carriers and other providers of messaging services," such as WhatsApp, iMessage and Skype. In a legal filing, CTIA called the text tax plan "illogical, anticompetitive, and harmful to consumers."

CTIA did not immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1145209

Reported Deaths: 18862
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles3741347497
San Bernardino875421129
Riverside821751417
San Diego74361984
Orange719531556
Kern39437445
Fresno36688477
Sacramento34186550
Santa Clara31603467
Alameda27857499
San Joaquin24804504
Contra Costa22747258
Stanislaus20932420
Tulare19882304
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Imperial15568355
San Francisco14662158
Monterey14265115
San Mateo13561170
Sonoma11608155
Merced11388179
Santa Barbara10944133
Kings1025987
Solano974581
Marin7596129
Placer614868
Madera593883
San Luis Obispo581135
Shasta447043
Yolo436374
Santa Cruz400328
Butte376559
Sutter294814
Napa281117
El Dorado20184
Yuba186610
San Benito176716
Lassen17153
Tehama152623
Mendocino144122
Nevada11319
Glenn8537
Lake84519
Tuolumne8068
Humboldt8019
Colusa6636
Siskiyou5652
Mono5073
Amador45716
Calaveras43421
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Tuesday was another beautiful day for northern California as a cold front began to bear down on the West Coast. We can expect increasing clouds late tonight, stronger breezes, and a chance for mountain rain and snow showers.
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