FCC and VoIP charges

I got an email from Vonage just a few days ago stating that the FCC is taxing VoIP. From the email, “The FCC recently mandated that VoIP providers, including Vonage, are required to contribute to the Federal Universal Service Fund (USF). Vonage is committed to complying with this mandate from the FCC. Accordingly, a 5.31% Federal Universal Service Fee will be added to your bill. Vonage does not profit nor benefit in any way from this contribution to the USF. This charge is passed directly to the United States government.”

This is fine with me, but what about all those free VoIP services. If I get charged a fee for a service I pay for, does that mean that those free services will no longer be allowed to be free. Because according to this email VoIP providers are required to contribute. I can’t see them going after companies like Skype and Yahoo that offer it for free. I really think it’s just another way for the FCC to get money. Vonage being the largest paid for service it seems like a great place to start. And I’m sure it didn’t have anything to do with the telecoms putting pressure on the FCC. I have always thought VoIP is a great service. But if this is a start to a charging parade by the FCC they could really mess things up.

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