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Universal Service Working Group Announced

in National Broadband Plan/Press Releases/Universal Service by

WASHINGTON, June 14, 2010 – The National Broadband Plan recommends that the current Universal Service Program be updated and split into two separate programs the Connect America Fund and the Mobility Fund. To achieve this shift the FCC has created a Universal Service Working Group to be headed by Sharon Gillette, Chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau.

The working group will consist of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, the International Bureau, the Office of General Counsel, the Office of Managing Director, the Office of Strategic Planning, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, and the Wireline Competition Bureau.

FCC Chairman Genachowski said of this new group, “Modernizing universal service programs to bring the benefits of broadband to all Americans is one of the FCC’s top priorities and a key pillar of the National Broadband Plan,” “This agency-wide effort reflects the FCC’s commitment to smart and fiscally prudent policies that eliminate inefficiencies and target universal service support effectively to have the greatest possible impact. The Universal Service Working Group will help ensure that the universal service programs meet America’s economic, health, and educational communications needs in the 21st century.”

Rahul Gaitonde has been writing for since the fall of 2009, and in May of 2010 he became Deputy Editor. He was a fellow at George Mason University’s Long Term Governance Project, a researcher at the International Center for Applied Studies in Information Technology and worked at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. He holds a Masters of Public Policy from George Mason University, where his research focused on the economic and social benefits of broadband expansion. He has written extensively about Universal Service Fund reform, the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program and the Broadband Data Improvement Act

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