Innovation & Competitiveness

Intellectual Property

Productivity & Innovation

Science and R&D Policy

Skills & Education

Information Technology

Digital Economy & Society


Opposition to IT


Global Markets



Join Our Email List

Join us on LinkedIn

Reports & Events Feed  RSS

Tech Policy Podcast  RSS


Contribute Now



Innovation Economics

Huffington Post

Huffington Post

Internet Evolution

Privacy Working Group

Washington Watch


***This is an archive of the old ITIF website. Content on this website will not be updated. Please visit our new website to see our latest content.***

Policy Issues
Testimony and Filings

Wireless Taxation, Economic Growth and Economic Opportunity

June 09, 2009

In a testimony before the Judiciary Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law, Rob Atkinson discusses why discriminatory taxes on wireless services have a negative impact on economic growth and innovation. Dr. Atkinson explains, at minimum, any given tax should not: 1) significantly change consumer behavior, 2) be borne predominately by low-income consumers or households; and 3) inhibit economic growth—and a discriminatory tax on wireless services would violate all three principles.

Numerous studies have shown consumers use of wireless services are significantly impacted by price. Indeed, for every one dollar in tax on wireless services reduces consumption by of these services by $1.29. And because low income households are almost as likely to subscribe to wireless services as higher income households, a tax on wireless services would constitute a regressive tax. Finally, because wireless services create what is called a “network effect”—where the benefits wireless are an increasing function of the number of users—efforts such as a discriminatory tax that reduce the number of users necessarily reduce the value of wireless services for all those involved.

Read the full text of this testimony (PDF)

Related Links

The Role of Competition in a National Broadband Policy
March 16, 2009

The Need for Speed: The Importance of Next-Generation Broadband Networks
March 5, 2009