RealTime IT News

FCC Begins Moving USF Subsidy to Broadband

As it begins work implementing the recommendations of the national broadband plan, the Federal Communications Commission has voted to begin the process of converting the federal telecom subsidy to fund high-speed Internet service.

Meanwhile, across town, lawmakers sparred over what role, if any, the commission should take in shepherding the broadband Internet market, a controversial policy debate that was complicated considerably by the recent ruling of a federal appeals court.

Enterprise Networking Planet takes a look at the FCC's latest moves on broadband, USF reform and the debate in Congress.

The Federal Communications Commission voted on Wednesday morning to set in motion one of the cornerstones of its national broadband plan, initiating a proceeding to convert the federal subsidy for telecom service in rural and low-income areas into a fund supporting high-speed Internet service.

At the same time the commissioners were casting their votes, the broadband plan came under review at a House subcommittee hearing, where lawmakers sparred over the proper role for the government in achieving the plan's goal of expanding broadband service to 90 percent of Americans by 2020.

The proposal for reform of the Universal Service Fund, a long-stalled issue on the FCC's agenda, would phase out the funds for telephone service over the next 10 years, reallocating the money for broadband access without expanding the cost of the program.

Read the full story at Enterprise Networking Planet:
FCC Begins March Toward Broadband Subsidies