Legislature looks at ways to increase rural broadband service

Legislators are considering a surcharge on wireless calls to raise $10 million a year that utilities could use for internet projects in rural Oregon. The average cell phone user could see an increase of $4 to $8 a year. The surcharge would apply only to calls within the state and also cover voice-over internet protocols. The state created a special fund in 1999 to push telecommunications technology into rural areas. The idea is that all customers would help pay for services that are more expensive to provide in sparsely populated rural communities.

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