Click Tax: Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality

In 2019 a unique set of circumstances has arisen that makes it possible to introduce click tax. Up until recently the idea that ISPs could block or slow down connections has been regarded as completely unacceptable. The principle of net neutrality (if you click there you go there, without let or hindrance) has been regarded as one of the pillars of the internet. Not any more. In June 2018 the US Federal Communications Commission decision to repeal rules that banned ISPs from interfering with internet traffic, was implemented.
In Europe, the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications, issues guidance that effectively maintains net neutrality in the EU. BEREC has carried out research suggesting that consumers are in favour of net neutrality but what this amounts to is that people don't like to have their internet running slower or more awkwardly than it might. Since the idea of click tax is to get the ISPs to charge the big internet companies what amounts to a connection fee, consumers are hardly likely to complain. It is highly unlikely they will notice. If Britain withdraws from the EU, the country will presumably be free to determine its own policy on net neutrality.
However, there remains the issue that ISPs might attempt to make a profit out of the charges they make. It is often said that the internet wants to be free (at least as far as the consumer is concerned who are really 'the product' for the internet giants). ISPs might potentially make enough money to give their services to consumers free of charge, or at much lower prices. This would probably not be a good thing since it would make it much harder for new internet start ups.
The fees startups would have to pay to ISPs might well be prohibitive. One way round this would be to get the ISPs to bill the internet companies but make them send the money straight to HMRC. Click to see next page.
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<1> Using clicks to create a fairer tax world
<2> Net Neutrality
<3> Collecting the data
<4> Saving the high street?
<5> Gambling
<6> The size of it
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