Following a suggestion by Communications Minister Miro Teixeira, in a paper dated February 20, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has written to Congress asking to withdraw a bill (PL 3997/2001) that would allow providers of private telecommunications services, including wireless carriers and DTH, cable and MMDS distributors, to apply for FUST funding.
FUST stands for Telecommunications Universalization Fund. The FUST fund is largely financed by a 1% tax on the gross revenues of telecoms service providers and is designed to ensure that low-income communities and rural areas have access to telecoms as well as all the nation?s schools, hospitals and libraries.
Mr Teixeira?s justification for withdrawing the bill is that it should have included providers of value added services such as Internet access. The Presidential Chief of Staff submitted the request for withdrawal to Congress on March 13 in Message 74/2003.