He writes in NBR:
Earlier this year, Parliament passed a Bill to continue theTelecommunications Development Levy. It siphons $50 million from the revenue of the telcos and ISPs to fix mobile phone ‘black spots’ and provide more rural broadband.
Yes that is an Internet charge to fund Internet coverage.
It’d be pretty straight-forward to extend this levy and it would provide significant, long-term funding for journalism in New Zealand. An arm’s length government agency could be enlisted to distribute the funding to news media of all kinds – newspapers, magazines, broadcasters, authors, bloggers and even NBR.
Could you imagine it with a left Government in power. All the favourite lovelies would get lots of money from the Government.
This idea to levy telcos and ISPs to fund journalism is actually just putting together several existing processes. It’s an innovation that would provide quality journalism to New Zealand into the foreseeable future, whatever the predominant technology becomes, while supporting existing news media infrastructure.
Not exciting at all, but the latest in a long list of industries that find the Internet challenging, wanting handouts through an Internet tax. The music industry wanted a levy on CDs. No doubt taxi companies would love to be subsidisied by an Internet tax because of Uber. And let’s tax the Internet to give money to motels competing with Air BNB.
And we’d better tax e-mails and give the money to NZ Post.