Hungary’s 60 cents per gigabyte Internet tax excessive


Donovan Rios, Staff Writer

People all around the world use terabytes of data on a daily basis.

In this modern age, most people in developed countries carry a cellphone with them at all times and most homes have a personal computer for each resident.

People are connected to the Internet now more than ever.

Because of the escalating usage of the Internet, the government of Hungary targeted it for a new tax.

Hungary’s government proposed a new Internet tax for 2015, charging customers 60 cents per gigabyte of data traffic.

Once word got out regarding the new tax, thousands of Hungarians flooded the streets of Budapest in protest.

Those who oppose the tax claim it is excessive, as the price for Internet services is already too high.

The Internet tax would cause the service to become unavailable to those who can already barely afford it.

Those who advocate for the tax claim the utility and usage of the Internet has changed dramatically in recent years. Therefore, the policies involving the service demand must change.

The government expects the tax would generate 175 million forints (roughly $708,000 U.S.) in revenue.

Based on the low amount the government is estimating the tax will bring in, analysts assume a cap will be placed on how much both ISPs and individual consumers will have to pay.

Due to the overwhelming criticism and protest from the Hungarian public, the legislation is encountering problems right from the start.

The negativity surrounding the tax has caused it to be delayed even further.

Hungary’s parliament has held the actual proposal of the tax back in order to make revisions and attempt to gain public support.

Placing a tax on Internet usage seems like a desperate attempt by the Hungarian government to generate revenue at the expense of its citizens.

In today’s world, it is necessary to stay connected to the Internet and the services it provides.

Schools, businesses and the average citizen require the Internet on a daily basis.

Taxing a crucial tool such as the Internet would cripple the financial stability of both companies and the individual.

Imposing a tax on data traffic would be as outrageous as charging an additional tax on everyday things people already pay for, such as water or electricity.

Companies charge for their water or power services based on how much an individual uses.

Now imagine on top of that, an individual would be required to pay a flat fee for the services.

The same concept can be applied to the proposed Internet tax.

The collaboration of the Hungarian citizens to denounce what they believed to be unjust is commendable.

Countries that have the right to freedom of speech often neglect it or take it for granted.

This protest of the Internet tax is a prime example of actively making the voice of the public heard.

Too often, people believe their voice will be silenced or not make an impact.

With the right course of action, people have the power to peacefully present their ideas to those who have the power to make changes.