Friday the Hungarian Government dropped a proposal that would have taxed internet data usage at a rate of 150 Hungarian forints (about 61 cents) per gigabite.
Hungarian citizens took to the street in the largest protest that has been mounted against the current government.
Hungarian President Viktor Orban publicly acknowledge that the majority was against the tax and affirmed that he would support the voice of the people in this case: “We are not communists, we don’t govern against the people,” Mr. Orban said in his regular weekly interview on Hungarian radio. “We govern together with the people. So this tax, in this form, cannot be introduced.”
Some speculate that the unpopular proposition was introduced at this time to distract the public from current public annoyance at a Rift with the United States. Earlier this month Six unnamed Hungarian public officials were denied U.S. visas because of confirmed reports that they had attempted to bribe American companies.
The move did distract the populace, but their objections to Internet taxation were so strong that the move came at a very high and unanticipated political cost.
I am glad to see people speaking out against Internet taxation in any form– lest the U.S. government should decide that it would be a good idea to do the same. Though– we already pay 3 times more for our broadband than European countries like Britain and France, and 5 times more than countries like South Korea. Monopolies, anyone?