Cities across the United States have attempted to create public Wi-Fi networks to expand affordable internet access to consumers. But such efforts continue to hit hard times. In April, Boston abandoned its attempt to establish its own Wi-Fi network because of low investment interest. Cities are no better at providing a service that could be provided more effectively by the marketplace.
There's one way to expand the opportunities for access: reducing excessive telecommunications taxes. The Beacon Hill Institute found that Boston consumers could save an average of $13.19 a month if telecommunications taxes were eliminated. This tax cut would give consumers more money to purchase among other services,internet access. According to the Cato Institute's Wayne Leighton, the best way to encourage low-income consumers to purchase internet access is to reduce telecommunications taxes. Boston should slash its excessive telecommunications taxes now and increase opportunities for low-income consumers.