Skip to comments.FCC unveils plans to overhaul rural phone service fund to provide high-speed Internet access
Posted on 02/08/2011 1:41:03 PM PST by LonelyCon
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski on Monday unveiled a plan to overhaul a much-criticized program that helps provide phone service to far-flung rural areas, proposing to focus it on expanding high-speed Internet access to those same locations.
The $8-billion Universal Service Fund is paid for by telecommunications companies, who must contribute a percentage of their long-distance revenue, often passing those fees on to their customers. The decades-old program has successfully spread phone service to residents in hard-to-reach areas that often are unprofitable for companies to serve, Genachowski said in a speech to the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.
But the fund has become highly inefficient, he said. In some cases, it pays more than $20,000 a year to provide a single home with phone service.
"The program is still designed to support traditional telephone service. Its a 20th century program poorly suited for the challenges of a 21st century world," Genachowski said. "In its current state, the program is not getting the job done. Its leaving millions on the outside looking in, and wasting taxpayer dollars every year."
(Excerpt) Read more at latimesblogs.latimes.com ...
Its a tax on YOU. The LA Times wants to talk all around it and not say it. YOU are paying for it.
Another waste of money. Get rid of the USF.
Huh? I have a property in a very rural area. Everyone has a cell phone and everyone has internet access without government help. Weird.
How many people are using landlines these days anyway?
The number is probably higher in the rural areas but its getting to the point where cell service is more common than land line. I’ve got a land line but only because I don’t get good cell reception here.
Once every home is wired for high-speed Internet, the next “problem” to solve will be a need for every person to own the latest computers so they can use said Internet. Of course a computer is useless without software, so that will need to be dealt with as well... same for laser printers, printing supplies, anti-virus software, and so on.
That was the excuse, it really provides un paid for service to the ghetto, to buy votes for democrats.
I’m on one of them there high speed cable internets myself.
So instead of discontinueing an obsolete tax they will justify it by spending it.
“If it moves, tax it; if it keeps moving regulate it; if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
Regulating communications is not an enumerated power granted to Congress in Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution and therefore is a power reserved to the states or the people. Consequently the mere existence of the FCC is Unconstitutional and must be abolished.
I thank all of you for my newly connected, high speed, fiber optic connection. It does make it easier to FReep. :^)
So what’s wrong with Hughes-net, and Wild Blue? They work just fine.
It’s the Gore tax.
Am I the only one that sees the irony here?
Taxes on phone service is being used to provide internet services.
Internet services are being used to bypass phone services (internet phone calls, conference calls, video calls, instant messaging, social sites like facebook, etc... are all eating into phone services).
The phone companies originally pushed for this tax, because they had a monopoly technology and thought the government would help them build their business. Instead, the tax on telephone service is being used to create a service (internet) that will eventually be the demise of traditional phone service.
I believe that this also ties in with the deal cut with a company, LightSquared, which grants LightSquared access to a piece of spectrum that will destroy GPS service in the USA.
If allowed to go forward, all existing commercial GPS units would become obsolete. LightSquared is apparently well connected to the Administration and the FCC, in their
January 26 action, has waived many of their standard procedures.
There is also additional detail on the issue at
This is just another example of Obama’s regulatory zeal.
This is going to be the forth or fifth time this has been shot down by the courts.
They have no authority to do this.
Last time this was done with Clinton, he ignored the ruling and continued to collect it.
Then Bush came in, and his administration continued to collect it too.
Obeying the courts is for us dumb Americans, the intelligentsia doesn’t have to.
It's for future regulatory plans.
Interesting thought. Creepy but interesting.