Annamaria Andriotis of Smart Money reports that American consumers spend an average of $92 a year on cellphone taxes. That's 16.3 percent of their total bill, and it’s up 16 percent from 2006.
You’re lucky if you’re average:
… residents in at least five states, including Florida, Illinois and Washington, get hit with rates that account for more than 20% of their wireless bill… In some cities, consumers’ tax burden is worse. In Baltimore, for example, taxes and fees account for 27% of the average customer’s wireless bill, while in New York they account for about 20%.
In a time when the US lags the rest of the First World in broadband penetration, it’s not a little troubling that as much as one in four consumer dollars spent on mobile goes to state and local governments.
Mobile is clearly the present and future of communication. I also believe that mobile is much more practical than wires for spreading domestic broadband, particularly in the vast rural areas of the US. But the climb to parity with the rest of the world will only get steeper if cellphone taxation isn’t reined in.
Fret not, though. At least the federal government isn't discouraging communication through taxation. A piece of paper can still travel 3,000+ miles via 747 and diesel truck for just 44 cents. You can write more than 17 letters a month for a cost of $92 a year.
I'd like to see our foreign friends pull that off with their fancy, low-cost wireless networks.