The amount payable for vital services or utilities is stated on a utility bill. Electricity, water, and gas bills are common utilities. Sewage, trash, and recycling, as well as TV, internet, phone, and streaming services, can all be included to the list.
TIP: Utility bills are frequently used as proof of residency, especially when applying for licenses and passports. If you don’t have an energy bill, contact the company directly to find out what other documents, such as tax or financial paperwork, they accept.
Is internet usage accounted for as a utility bill?
Electricity, gas, water/sewage, and waste disposal are all examples of utility costs. Other services, such as internet, cable TV, and phone service, are sometimes considered extra utilities, despite the fact that they are now regarded standard in most American homes.
Is Wi-Fi classified as a utility?
“It is a fundamental public good that should be enshrined in legislation, as several countries have done,” she said.
Equality of opportunity, access to credit, access to other public goods, and access to education are all dependent on it.
This is unrelated to disputes about internet content regulation or whether behemoths like Google and Facebook wield too much influence.
The US government, as well as phone and cable corporations, believes that the internet is a free-market service in its entirety. It’s not a service.
The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai, believes the internet business deserves only “light-touch regulation,” or little control at all.
That appears to be the case at first glance. According to a recent analysis from BroadbandNow, a service comparison site, the percentage of Americans with access to broadband internet increased from 74.5 percent to 93.5 percent during the last decade.
Meanwhile, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the consumer price index for internet service has stayed largely consistent over the same time period.
However, industry observers argue that we’re gauging things incorrectly. We should compare current internet pricing to what individuals in other industrialized countries pay, rather than comparing them to what we paid 10 years ago.
Americans, by that metric, are receiving a bad bargain, not just in terms of price, but also in terms of service quality, or speed.
According to a recent comparison of worldwide broadband pricing conducted by Britain’s Cable.co.uk, the United States rated 119th out of 206 countries, with monthly expenses substantially exceeding those of Germany, the United Kingdom, and Japan.
“With a little hyperbole,” Ernesto Falcon, senior legislative counsel for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, stated, “Americans have the slowest, most expensive internet in the world.”
To compensate for the increased number of cord cutters who are canceling their TV subscriptions, telecom firms have been slowly hiking internet fees. The firms frequently claim that investment in new high-speed lines is the primary reason for the price increases.
However, Harold Feld, senior vice president of the advocacy group Public Knowledge, believes that this is inaccurate. According to him, the majority of the necessary fiber-optic cables for contemporary internet use are already in the ground.
“If you want to make your network go faster these days, you’re talking about software enhancements, not additional fiber,” Feld said of industry changes.
“The only reason our broadband prices are pretty consistent is that there isn’t much competition,” he explained.
According to a Pew Research Center research from last year, almost 44% of households with yearly incomes under $30,000 do not have broadband connectivity. Approximately half of the population does not have access to a computer.
Many people may not consider the average monthly internet price of $60 to be excessive. However, when it comes to competing with other necessities like food and rent, it can be a significant burden for lower-income households.
Alok Gupta, an information and decision sciences professor at the University of Minnesota, advocated to me that we give all Americans “a free base rate of internet access, and then charge more to folks who want faster speeds or greater data use.”
To put it another way, everyone would have enough bandwidth to surf the web and send emails. People who want to watch Netflix in high definition all day can pay a premium for the privilege.
This appeals to me, similar to the idea of the government giving basic health coverage to everyone and then allowing private insurers to charge for more complete plans.
However, this does not negate the necessity for oversight. The basic fact is that, like power and water, if the internet is a necessity, we need clear standards to assure the most possible availability at the lowest possible cost.
According to Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, a digital rights advocacy group, “the internet is a direct descendant of the United States telephone network.”
It was the first information utility, he told me, until the phone sector was deregulated in the 1980s and 1990s, a move that enhanced competition for a time until the industry consolidated into a handful of huge players.
One reason we lag behind other industrialized countries, according to Aaronson of George Washington University, is that we don’t see internet as a right, just as we don’t see healthcare or higher education as something that everyone is entitled to.
“Broadband access is critical for the success of society as a whole,” Aaronson remarked.
Is there anything I can use as a utility bill?
Electricity, water, and gas are examples of utilities. You might also include sewage, trash, and recycling, as well as TV, internet, phone, and streaming services, depending on how you define utilities. The customer’s name, address, and account number are all listed on a utility bill.
Why isn’t the internet considered a utility?
Many people are assessing the benefits and drawbacks of providing internet connection as a public utility in an era when the digital gap is more visible than ever. Water, gas, and electricity are examples of public utilities that have monopolistic control over the services they provide, which implies that the internet, as a public utility, would be subject to rules and rates would be set at the discretion of the corporation. The infrastructure for public utilities in the United States is already obsolete, and the nature of these services does not correspond to the nature of the internet. Given the business structures of other public utility companies, offering internet access as a public utility would be a mistake because it would eliminate healthy competition between internet companies and national cohesive coverage, both of which are necessary for the advancement of technology, internet freedom, and keeping rates low.
Campbell, Martin, and Fabos (2017) define the digital divide as the disparity between those who can afford internet service and associated technology such as phones and computers, and others who cannot afford to acquire a computer or pay for online services. As the digital era continues, the gap is widening, and “One of the key arguments in support of establishing internet as a public utility is the inability to receive service from the nation’s leading internet providers, which is why 39% of rural Americans do not have access to broadband internet (1). According to Campbell, Martin, and Fabos, the number of Americans who use smartphones will increase from 55 percent to 77 percent by 2020. Because the internet is such a crucial element of job seeking, communication, arranging appointments, and other important tasks, it’s critical that equal access to the internet be prioritized.
The internet is a resource that should be available to everyone in some manner, shape, or form, but, similar to how one must pay a water or electricity bill, the internet can still be made available to the entire public without being a centralized and monopolized utility. Making the internet a public utility, with only one provider per specified area, would only injure consumers in the long term since it would reduce the necessary competition for technology and economics. “Food, clothing, and shelter are examples of “essentials,” according to Larry Downes, and, like the internet, individuals require these commodities, yet they are not considered a public service. Currently, the majority of American households have a choice of at least three internet providers, and restricting this to just one would be a mistake “dangerously inadequate fit (2). Most people’s capacity to pay for their own internet in the same way they pay for clothing and housing eliminates the necessity for it to be a public service.
The internet sector relies on competition between internet providers, and making it a public utility would eliminate this healthy competition. Because of their monopolization and lack of competition, public utility corporations are frequently unable to innovate, putting a halt to internet-related innovation (2). Furthermore, unlike competing internet providers, public utilities do not go out of their way to impress customers. The ideal answer is for the US government to regulate internet providers’ abilities to limit users’ use of the networks, such as not allowing providers to manipulate the speed of specific cities in order to promote one business over another (3). Making the internet a public utility and monopolizing it in specific places is a less effective approach of providing equal access to the internet than regulating internet providers.
Classifying the Internet as a public utility and operating it similarly to water and electricity would not only be costly for taxpayers, but it would also impose unneeded restrictions on internet users. According to the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, regulating the internet would simply remove the government’s incentive for internet innovation, and it would become a neglected, stagnant utility similar to the outdated infrastructure that currently supports water, electricity, and gas (4). Repairing America’s infrastructure for current utilities would cost over $3 trillion, thus adding the internet to the list would merely add to an already antiquated and damaged system (2). If the internet is combined with local services such as electricity, the quality of service is likely to deteriorate, something that Americans are already frustrated with (2).
While having access to the internet is crucial for citizens, it should not be regarded a public utility like water, electricity, or natural gas because the current system is the best fit for the nature of the internet. The internet’s purpose would be undermined by the regulations that would be imposed on it. The FCC is currently monitoring the power of internet providers such as Verizon and AT&T to ensure that users have equal rights, such as equal speed on all websites and privacy protection. Monopolizing the internet business would be detrimental since competition among internet providers is essential for internet technology advancement and the economy. Because of the nature of the internet’s consumers and the architecture of the network, introducing the internet to the United States’ aging electrical infrastructure would be undesirable. While the internet is required for many crucial functions such as job hunting, research, and communication, it should be seen as a necessity in the same way that clothing and shelter are.
- R. Campbell, C. R. Martin, and B. Fabos (2017). An introduction to mass communication through the media and culture (11th ed.). Bedford/St. Martins is a neighborhood in Boston.
What is the internet expense category?
Internet services that are only business support services and are not required for efficient operations are classified as office expenses.
How do I deduct my internet usage from my taxes?
You must file Form 2106, Employee-Related Expenses, to deduct Internet expenses as an employee. Your deduction is limited to the amount that exceeds 2% of your adjusted gross income, according to the IRS. As a result, if you make $50,000, you can only deduct expenses that total more than $1,000. If you are self-employed or own a business, you can deduct all of your business-related Internet expenses from your gross income.
Is the internet included in the home office deduction?
Because having an Internet connection is theoretically required if you work from home, you can deduct some or all of the cost when filing your taxes. The deductible expense will be included in your home office expenses. Only if you use the Internet for work purposes are your Internet expenses deductible. Unless you use your Internet connection for work, you cannot deduct your Internet expenses if you use it to simply surf the web, engage in social networking, or send emails.
Is a cellphone bill considered a utility bill?
Is a telephone bill considered a utility bill? Phone bills are commonly classified as utility bills. However, this only applies to landlines, not mobile phones. Telephone companies’ invoices are utility bills, and they, like energy suppliers, provide a service to the general public.