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Universal Service Fund Expansion Pilot Approved by State Commissioners

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WASHINGTON, February 19, 2009 – State utility commissioners approved a resolution endorsing a Federal Communications Commission proposal to expand Lifeline and Link Up telephone subsidization programs to offer broadband service for low income consumers.

Originally championed by former FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, the proposal will allow telecommunications companies, even those that do not currently receive USF dollars, to receive Universal Service Fund monies to help low income families connect to the Internet. Companies that do not currently receive USF funding for voice service would have to pay into the fund in order to be eligible.

The resolution was approved by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners telecommunications committee on Tuesday at its winter meeting here in Washington, and later adopted by the organization’s board of directors. NARUC represents state regulatory boards from all 50 states.

Andrew Feinberg is Managing Editor of BroadbandBreakfast.com. Previously a Reporter and Deputy Editor for BroadbandBreakfast.com, Andrew also helped produce and interview telecom and tech policy newsmakers for FastCompany.tv’s “Washington Week,” and has also appeared on C-SPAN’s “Communicators” series. He has also worked at Communications Daily, Washington Internet Daily, and The Hill.

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