F.C.C. to Propose Expanding Broadband Service to Underserved Areas

Monday Feb 7th 2011 by Datamation.com Staff

The agency would like to convert the $8 billion fund that supports rural telephone service into a fund that supports rural broadband.

NY Times: In a speech Monday, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski will propose changing an $8 billion fund that supports rural telephone service so that it can be used to support rural broadband service. The money comes from the the Universal Service Fund, which is a fee collected on telephone bills.

A draft of Genachowski's remarks reads, "[The fund] was designed for a world with separate local and long-distance telephone companies, a world of traditional landline telephones before cellphones or Skype, a world without the Internet — a world that no longer exists." It adds, “At the end of this transition, we would no longer subsidize telephone networks; instead we would support broadband.”

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