California regulators are considering a plan to charge a fee for text messaging on mobile phones to help support programs that make phone service accessible to the poor.
The Mercury News reports Wednesday that the proposal is scheduled for a vote next month by the state Public Utilities Commission.
The wireless industry and business groups have been working to defeat the plan.
Jim Wunderman of the Bay Area Council, a business-sponsored advocacy group, says it would essentially put a tax on conversations.
The newspaper says it’s unclear how much money individual consumers would be asked to pay their wireless carrier for texting services under the proposal. But it likely would be billed as a flat surcharge — not a fee per text.