Feeds

Obama wants to wring fat dollar from mobile operators

Drove my Chevy to the ($4.8bn) levy

Boost IT visibility and business value

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. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
What FTC lawsuit? T-Mobile US touts 10GB, $100 family-of-4 plan
Folks 'could use that money for more important things' says CEO Legere
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.