News - June 30, 2021

INCOMPAS Praises Governor of Maine for Stopping Tax on Streaming Services and Broadband Providers

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 30, 2021)
– INCOMPAS, the internet and competitive networks association, which represents video streaming services, internet companies and local broadband builders deploying new faster fiber networks praised action by Maine Governor Janet Mills, who exercised her veto power to stop a proposed new tax on consumers who have cut the cord on cable.

INCOMPAS, which recently launched the BroadLand campaign to promote Internet for All, has long warned that adding new fees on free or low-cost internet and streaming content will decrease investment in broadband networks and slow down deployment of faster speed, affordable broadband networks that bring more competition to the market.

The Maine legislation, LD 920, was introduced in March and would have added franchise fees on streaming video service and broadband providers to find alternative revenue sources for funding the state’s local community and public education (PEG) channels. INCOMPAS submitted testimony to the Maine legislature opposing the legislation, worked with other trade organizations and our local member companies to address our deployment concerns, and called upon the Governor to veto the legislation when those concerns were not addressed.

In response to the win in Maine, INCOMPAS CEO Chip Pickering released the following statement:

“We want to thank and praise Governor Mills for standing with consumers, competition and a better broadband future. The economics of broadband are clear: more choice and lower cost alternatives on the edge and streaming side of the market are driving the demand for greater capacity, faster speeds, and more affordable broadband networks. Adding taxes and fees on consumers who are finally seeing a break on their cable bills thanks to streaming competition is the wrong approach as it decreases video competition, and it deters broadband growth and deployment that benefit families, schools and small businesses who need it most.”

“Maine has some of the best and most exciting network builders in the nation who are deploying fiber that will give local communities access to some of the fastest speed services in America. Competition works, and we look forward to working with the Governor, state legislators and local officials to encourage smart growth solutions that bring better broadband to more places.”