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lifeline

Broadband's Impact

While Universal Service Reforms Show Promise, Politics Clouds Fund’s Future

ASPEN, Colorado, August 19, 2015 - In spite of several positive efforts to reform the complex and dated rules that govern the Federal Communication Commission's universal service fund, key decisions surrounding the $8 billion annual fund remain ineluctably political. That was the message shared by panelists, including a commissioner at the FCC, speaking at a session on Tuesday at the Technology Policy Institute's annual forum here. For example, the panelists -- which also include two economists, a cable industry lobbyist and the former director of the National Broadband Plan -- applauded efforts to bring greater economic efficiency to telecom network construction through a system known as a "reverse auction." They also supported efforts to promote broadband adoption by providing income-based vouchers for the purpose of internet services. But decisions about the allocation of funds within the USF -- and the key question of how the fund is to be paid for -- remain political hot potatoes. Embedded image permalink Moderator Scott Wallsten of the Technology Policy Institute, with panelists Mignon Clyburn, James Assey, Blair Levin, Gregory Rosston, and Bradley Wimmer. [more...] Keep Reading

FCC/Universal Service

Lifeline Reform One More Step Toward Adoption

WASHINGTON, January 27, 2012 – A couple weeks ago, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski announced the FCC’s Order to modernize the Universal Service Fund’s Lifeline Program. In a week where almost all of the media’s attention was focused on new technologies and innovative gadgets at the International Consumer Electronics Show, Genachowski reminded the public… Keep Reading

National Broadband Plan: A Look at Chapters 1 & 2

WASHINGTON, March 26, 2010 - The national broadband plan aims to present not just a roadmap of how to expand broadband but also to provide a long-term vision of innovation. While the first chapter of the plan explains its overarching goals and congressional mandate, the plan is really outlined in the second chapter. The plan has six goals that the Federal Communications Commission plans to achieve through four general recommendations. Keep Reading

FCC Readies Plan to Bring Affordable Broadband to 100 Million Homes, Dubs Plan ‘Connecting America’

WASHINGTON, March 15, 2010 - The Federal Communications Commission will present its congressionally mandated plan to bring high-speed Internet access throughout the United States to lawmakers tomorrow, outlining six long-term goals and detailing its views on better ways to encourage broadband competition, free up available spectrum and modernize health care, among other things. Keep Reading

FCC Releases First Draft of National Broadband Plan After Weighing Record

WASHINGTON, December 17, 2009 – The Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday laid out a rough draft of its national broadband plan after weighing through 66,000 pages of written comments, 27 public notices, 100 items posted on its “blogband” web site, and 700 blog comment posted to the record. But the agency says it is still difficult to answer key questions that must be addressed within two months time, or by February 17, 2010. Keep Reading

Universal Service Fund Needs Overhaul, and Most Want Broadband Included

WASHINGTON, November 18, 2009 - The Universal Service Fund is in need of an overhaul to equalize costs among stakeholders and modernize programs to include broadband services, a group of industry representatives and regulators told the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet during a Tuesday hearing. The hearing examined a discussion draft of the Universal Service Reform Act of 2009, authored by subcommittee Chairman Rick Boucher, D-Va., and Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb. The Universal Service program, which existed for decades before being codified in the 1996 Telecommunications Act, is under "tremendous pressure" and requires a comprehensive effort to reform its operations, Boucher said during opening remarks. Keep Reading

Universal Service

Resolution on FCC Reform Divides NARUC Committee; Universal Service Fund Changes Less Controversial

WASHINGTON, February 15, 2009 – State regulatory commissioners are split on how strongly to express longstanding grievances with Federal Communications Commission processes. A resolution on reform of FCC management and practices dominated the agenda as the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners continued its winter meeting Sunday. Keep Reading

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