According to the bill prepared by the governing party, every single gigabyte of started download will cost internet service providers HUF 150 (USD 0.62). The tax, planned to be introduced from January 2015, would mean an almost unbearable burden for internet service providers, and would be passed to every single internet user in the country as an extra charge.
Fidesz’s plan is so-far unprecedented in the world. Their government would expand an already existing telecommunications tax to internet. Contrary to anticipations yesterday the bill plans to tax not company profits but the internet traffic itself, projecting HUF 150 in taxation after every gigabyte users initiate to download.
According to 444.hu and Index, the rate would make Hungary the only country in the world where web services such as Skype or YouTube would not be free. 444 also published a list of how much some downloads would cost after the tax takes effect. We publish the original forint prices converted to US dollars:
- One hour of browsing, mostly reading articles: 7 cents
- An hour of watching videos on YouTube: 8 cents
- An hour of listening on Spotify: 9 cents
- An hour on Facebook: 14 cents
- Listening to a webradio for an hour daily throughout one month: 1 dollar 30 cents
- One hour of Skype videochat: 36 cents
- Downloading a blu-ray movie via torrent: 19 dollars
- Video-streaming all episodes of Friends: 323 dollars
The proposal generated unprecedented and widespread outrage. A Facebook group, “A hundred thousand against the internet tax,” formed on Tuesday already reached 110,000 likes by mid-Wednesday, and a Sunday protest against the bill in inner-city Budapest already has 11,000 RSVPs.
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