Feeds

Obama wants to wring fat dollar from mobile operators

Drove my Chevy to the ($4.8bn) levy

Security for virtualized datacentres

President Obama has proposed squeezing $4.8bn out of the mobile network operators with a levy on the spectrum for which they have already paid, or thought they had.

The levy starts at $50m in 2009, rising to $200m in 2010 and eventually hitting $550m a year per company - raising $4.8bn over the next decade, which could go some way towards addressing America's $1.7trn budget deficit.

The information is slipped in on page 132 of the President's budget under the line item "Spectrum license user fee", as spotted by Reuters, and will certainly require Congressional approval as well as a government ready to fight the inevitable legal challenges the network operators would be remiss not to mount against such flagrant exploitation.

Not that one can blame Obama - more money has to come from somewhere, and mobile network operators are one of the few groups who are doing OK in the current economy, not to mention being monolithic companies who engender little in the way of public sympathy. But the long-term subscriptions that have served to protect network operators from the economic freefall will be up for renewal soon, and it seems unlikely the industry is going to hand over just shy of $5bn without a fight.

We'll get more details of the proposal in the spring, and the operators aren't commenting yet, but you can be sure their lawyers are pleased to see their services will continue to be in demand throughout such turbulent times. ®

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Turnbull: NBN won't turn your town into Silicon Valley
'People have been brainwashed to believe that their world will be changed forever if they get FTTP'
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.