News Column

Student Accessibility Plan Would Cost Billions

August 14, 2013
iPad 2 (file photo)

President Obama's plan to expand high-speed Internet access to U.S. primary and secondary schools is already meeting opposition from Republicans.

The little-known plan for students to use digital notebooks would cost billions of dollars and the president proposes to pay for it by raising fees on mobile phone users, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

It makes use of the ability of the Federal Communications Commission to charge consumers fees to fund specific priorities, such as subsidizing phone service for the poor, under a program known as the universal service fund.

Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said most consumers would oppose an increase in their mobile phone bills.

"If they pursue that course, there's going to be pushback, absolutely," Upton said.

Former Republican FCC commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth called the move "scary."

"Using the FCC as a way to get around Congress to spend money that Congress doesn't have the political will to spend -- I think that's very scary," Furchtgott-Roth said.

For more stories covering the world of technology, please see HispanicBusiness' Tech Channel

Source: Copyright UPI 2013

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