While Universal Service Reforms Show Promise, Politics Clouds Fund’s Future
August 19th, 2015
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.
Moderator Scott Wallsten of the Technology Policy Institute, with panelists Mignon Clyburn, James Assey, Blair Levin, Gregory Rosston, and Bradley Wimmer.
Broadband Roundup: FTC a Loser Under Title II, Rural Gigabit Projects, and Wireless Sponsored Data
FCC, Fiber, Net Neutrality, Wireless
September 23rd, 2014
WASHINGTON, September 23, 2014 – In a filing with the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Trade Commission noted that some of its regulatory authority would be lost if the FCC decided to regulate broadband as a public utility. The FTC protects the privacy and security of consumer data by imposing obligations on broadband service providers […]
FCC Announces Universal Service Fund Strike Force in Effort to Combat Wasteful Spending
Broadband's Impact, FCC, Universal Service
July 14th, 2014
WASHINGTON, July 14, 2014 – In an effort to combat ongoing complaints of inefficiency within the Federal Communications Commission’s Universal Service Fund, Chairman Tom Wheeler on Monday announced a strike force dedicated to “rooting out waste, fraud, and abuse.” To be led by Loyaan Egal, a former public corruption attorney with the U.S. Attorney’s Office […]
Press Release: Alaska to Receive Federal Funds for Rural Wireless Improvement Efforts
March 6th, 2014
In light of new developments in the Universal Service Fund, this press release about the Tribal Mobility Fund caught our eye…. March 5, 2014 – The Federal Communications Commission announced that Alaska’s largest telecommunication provider, General Communication, Inc. (NASDAQ:GNCMA), is eligible to receive $41.4 million for rural 3G/4G wireless projects as part of its Tribal […]
Expert Opinion: Business as Usual Despite Departure of Universal Service Administrative Company CEO
Broadband's Impact, Expert Opinion, FCC, IP Transition, Universal Service
February 10th, 2014
Although it is the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) that is charged with implementing the ambitious universal service policy goals set forth in the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (the “Act”), the FCC designated the Universal Service Administrative Company (“USAC”), an independent, not-for-profit corporation, to administer the day-to-day operations of federal universal service. USAC bills […]
Our Broadband Election – and the Next Chapter of High-speed Internet in America
FCC, National Broadband Plan, NTIA, Rural Utilities Service
November 5th, 2012
November 5, 2012 – In the lead-up to the 2008 presidential election four years ago, then-candidate Barack Obama repeatedly raised the importance of “expanding broadband lines across America” as part of the economic stimulus plan that become the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. During the first year of his administration, many parties honed in on […]
How to Tackle Broadband Adoption by the Nation’s Underserved Populations
Broadband Data, Broadband Mapping, Broadband Stimulus, FCC, Fiber, National Broadband Plan, NTIA, Rural Utilities Service, States, Universal Service
July 26th, 2012
WASHINGTON, Thursday, July 26, 2012 – Last week, the fourth year of the Broadband Breakfast Club Series came to an end with a timely panel on “Bringing Broadband Adoption to the Nation’s Underserved Population.” Panelists from the private, nonprofit and state government sectors came together to discuss what can be done to promote broadband usage in […]
Spectrum Bill and Broadband Breakfast Pre Holiday Wrap Up
Broadband Stimulus, Broadband's Impact, Congress, FCC, House of Representatives, National Broadband Plan, Net Neutrality, NTIA, Public Safety, States, Universal Service, Wireless
December 14th, 2011
WASHINGTON December 14, 2011 – The FCC, the Hill and the Telecom industry has been busy over the last couple of weeks. Here is a wrap-up of the most important events. House Passes Spectrum Auction Incentive Bill After a 234-193 vote, the House Payroll Tax Extension Bill incorporated the full version of the Republican Incentive […]
Senate Hears ‘Consensus Framework’ Proposal and Concerns for Universal Service Reform
Broadband Updates, Rural Utilities Service, Senate, States, Universal Service
October 13th, 2011
Thursday October 13th 2011 – As BroadbandBreakfast.com gears up for our panel on “Bringing Broadband Infrastructure to Rural Areas: Where is the Progress?” we have been taking some notes on the FCC’s efforts to reform the Universal Service Fund and listened in on Wednesday’s Senate Commerce Hearing on “Universal Service Reform – Bringing Broadband to […]
Free State Foundation Panel Calls for USF, Intercarrier Compensation Reform
Broadband's Impact, Universal Service
July 14th, 2011
WASHINGTON, July 14, 2011 – The Free State Foundation, a free-market think thank, assembled key industry experts Wednesday and pressed for the immediate need for reforms to the Universal Service Fund and Intercarrier Compensation systems.
For the past year, the Federal Communications Commission has worked on updating the Universal Service Fund to handle the demands of broadband expansion rather than voice service.