New Internet Tax Freedom Act becomes law

To no one's surprise, President Bush signed the oddly named Internet Tax Freedom Act Amendments Acts of 2007 last week, extending the moratorium on Internet access taxes for another seven years. This moratorium has been going on since 1998 and will be 16 years old when those who are in favor of the access taxes once again try to blow out its candles.

The vote in Congress was unanimous in favor of the moratorium. Those who favor the moratorium, including Internet service providers, wireless carriers, and Internet companies, say that the cost of accessing the Internet could increase as much as 17 percent if the tax were assessed.

Many legislators support a permanent ban on Internet access taxes, but to date, Congress has been unwilling to make the law permanent.

Applauding the measure was Peter Davidson, senior VP of federal government relations at Verizon. "Broadband access is now a crucial driver of America's economy, and this moratorium extension will ensure continued investment and growth in the broadband marketplace," he said in a statement.

The new legislation encompasses forms of e-commerce other than Web access and online shopping. They include e-mail, voice and video messaging, and personal storage.

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