The Washington Post today set the record straight regarding a fact check it made in January involving a PPI policy report. Since the fact check was published, it has been widely misused by net neutrality proponents to discredit the report, which found that reclassification of the Internet as a public utility under Title II would pass millions of dollars in taxes and fees on to consumers.
The Fact Checker awarded Three Pinocchios to widely-cited claims that the FCC reclassification would cost $15 billion a year in new taxes and fees. The figure originated from a December 2014 report by the left-leaning Progressive Policy Institute, which calculated the worst-case scenario of all possible local and state telecommunications fees and taxes that could be levied on Internet services. After the report was published, Congress renewed the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA), which prohibits state and local governments from levying new taxes on Internet access. So researchers published an update with state and local telecom fees, and modified the figure to $11 billion. It was noted in a footnote of a follow-up an article and was not readily available to average readers not following the debate.
Since the fact check published, some net neutrality proponents misquoted it on social media, either attributing the Pinocchios to PPI or to the $11 billion figure.
Read the article in its entirety at the Washington Post.