Texting a friend the poop emoji may get a bit costlier, that’s if California regulators have anything to do with it.
Per a recent California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) filing, the Golden State is looking to implement a “texting tax” in an effort to better serve its underprivileged residents.
Set for an early January vote, if passed the measure will likely force wireless carriers to increase prices to cover the government mandated surcharge.
According to CNN, the proposed tax won’t be per-text, instead, it would be based on the user’s monthly bill.
To further exacerbate the issue, industry groups like CTIA – whose clients include T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint – are claiming the proposed measure thwarts federal law, pointing to a recent FCC ruling that puts text messages in the same “information service” category as email.
Going further, CTIA rebukes the 52-page proposal as “illogical, anticompetitive, and harmful,” saying non-traditional messaging services like WhatsApp, iMessage, and Skype would be unaffected.
While CPUC has yet to respond to CTIA’s claims, experts say the FCC’s ruling may, indeed, result in changes to the proposal.
At present, the vote is still set for January 10th, 2019.