Call Raised for Internet Tax
June 14, 2012 International Tax Cooperation
NEW YORK – Despite widespread protests and criticism, international regulations could soon be changed, making it possible to implement a global tax on internet usage.
Last week the international organization Wikileaks released documents which were prepared earlier this year by the European Telecommunications Network Operators Association (ETNO) for the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), an agency of the United Nations responsible for telecommunications technology.
The leaked documents contain a proposal to amend the ITU’s International Telecommunications Regulations (ITR), and introduce the concepts of “ending party network pays”.
According to international taxation and technical analysts, the amendments are aimed at large websites and online service providers, and would effectively impose a new tax to be paid for any internationally generated traffic.
Commenting on the proposal, the former chief of the US Federal Communications Commission’s Robert Pepper suggested that this measure could lead to some US companies moving their servers and technical facilitates away from the US to mitigate the costs arising from international traffic.
Several online analysts have also come forward and claimed that the proposed tax will result in large US based websites and service providers blocking off some international traffic.
The proposal is scheduled to be debated at a meeting of the ITU in December, and will be voted on by the 193 member countries of the ITU.