â€Olivier Maingain, the mayor of Sint-Lambrechts-Woluwe, one of the 19 Brussels boroughs, is planning to tax all "antennas for the transmission of data". Each antenna will be taxed a staggering 4,000 euros per year. Such antennas are used for WiFi or WLAN, i.e. wireless internet or wireless networks over relatively short distances. While the small antenna on your wireless router could theoretically be taxed, the new tax seems to target WiFi-antennas that can be seen from the outside, i.e. that are positioned on the outside of buildings. If the owner of the aerial cannot be identified the owners of the buildings have to pay the new tax."
This reminded me of the debate about software licensing for multicore processor servers a while back. In general it’s just a bad idea to put in place measures that effectively disincentivize people from investing in new technology, but for the life of me I cannot understand why someone would think it a good idea to put a tax on something that is supposed to be a public access right.