FCC Wants to use Universal Service Fund for Broadband Expansion in America

October 7, 2011 -

The Federal Communications Commission has been eyeballing a fund traditionally earmarked for rural phone service as a way to fund rural broadband. Most Americans that have a phone pay to fund this rural telephone program through the Universal Service Fund, or USF. When you pay your bill you pay a small stipend into this fund, which the government then uses (or is at least supposed to) towards building phone systems in wildly rural areas.

A new plan announced by the FCC yesterday would refocus the fund towards building rural broadband Internet access instead. Besides connecting these citizens to the rest of the world, the FCC thinks this would also give them opportunities to find jobs, and communicate using modern technologies such as Skype or other web-based VOIP technology.

"We have a system that's broken, frankly and if we don't do this job right, we could end up -- even though we have this wonderful new technology -- with a greater gap than we have right now," said FCC commissioner Michael Copps. "We could put the affluent urban neighborhoods farther ahead and the rural isolated communities farther behind than they are now and that would be a real tragedy when you have this technology that can create opportunity and bridge gaps and bring people together and allow it not to serve those noble purposes."

Copps thinks doing this will be a benefit to everyone because "you get a country that's better informed, better connected, better educated, more competitive, creating jobs, needing less in the way of subsidy or help from the rest of America."

"There's an aspect of this broadband that doesn't get talked about enough but it has to do with our civic dialogue, our media and news and information. Broadband has a tremendous capacity to inform and to enlighten. If we go about our job right, maybe we can pave the next town square of democracy with broadband bricks, but that's going to take a lot of work."

Of course the real benefit to doing this isn't even mentioned by Copps; we don't waste our money on old technology. Why provide just phone infrastructure when we can provide technology that can be used to provide, phone, internet, and entertainment services? We're going to end up spending money on broadband anyway, so why not just do it right the first time?

Source: Marketplace

Image provided by Shutterstock.com Copyright GTibbetts. All Rights Reserved.


Comments

Re: FCC Wants to use Universal Service Fund for Broadband ...

I can back this as long as there is an oversight committee in place to MAKE SURE the funds are used for this express purpose.

Re: FCC Wants to use Universal Service Fund for Broadband ...

As someone currently spending time in a rural area, I wholeheartedly agree. The research station I'm working at uses a 1mb connection to service offer 25 business computers. Supposedly the ISP is bring a 10mb line out here next year.

Also, there needs to be a news source with a bigger view than who fell down a well this week, thank you internet.

-Austin from Oregon

Feel free to check out my blog.

Re: FCC Wants to use Universal Service Fund for Broadband ...

Given how often broadband providers have sued (successfully) to stop rural areas from building their own.. there would be some justice in this.

Re: FCC Wants to use Universal Service Fund for Broadband ...

I'm actually in favor of this. I have lived in rural areas most of my entire life (the parts that I remember anyway) and we had 56k dialup for a long​ time. Our only options at the time were to keep our dialup or go with the unreliable and pricey satellite connections. I know we're not going to beat Korea in any sort of connectivity race, but this seems like a step in the right direction.

 

Managing Editor at The Best Game Site Ever

Re: FCC Wants to use Universal Service Fund for Broadband ...

It would need to keep going that way if the USA ever wants to reclaim that title.

Re: FCC Wants to use Universal Service Fund for Broadband ...

Is there an echo in here?

-Greevar

"Paste superficially profound, but utterly meaningless quotation here."

Re: FCC Wants to use Universal Service Fund for Broadband ...

Is there an echo in here?

-Greevar

"Paste superficially profound, but utterly meaningless quotation here."

 

 
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Matthew WilsonWOW is copping EVE. http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/18141101/introducing-the-wow-token-3-2-2015 I think its a smart move to deal with gold farmers in this way.03/02/2015 - 1:16pm
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Papa MidnightI ask because, having only just heard of it, I have not, and I was hoping for some insight.03/02/2015 - 11:39am
Papa MidnightHas anyone been following this petition by Mark Kern regarding Kotaku, Polygon, and VG247? https://www.change.org/p/kotaku-lead-the-way-in-healing-the-rift-in-video-games03/02/2015 - 11:38am
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Matthew Wilsonvalvle planning to release a vr headset this year wtf http://www.pcgamer.com/valves-vr-headset-is-named-vive-and-htc-are-making-it/03/01/2015 - 1:05pm
ZippyDSMleeuuuhhhggg in other news been sick since last night.....uuhggg.....I iwsh it did not hurt so much when my tummy wants to leave my body..02/28/2015 - 11:39pm
ZippyDSMleeBrings me to the Q why alt costumes would be needed in competition anyway... http://www.eventhubs.com/news/2015/feb/28/dead-or-alive-community-aims-ban-over-120-overly-sexualized-costumes-dead-or-alive-5-last-round/02/28/2015 - 11:36pm
MonteThough from a business side, i would agree with the article. While it would be smarter for developers to slow down, you can't expect EA, Activision or ubisoft to do something like that. Nintnedo's gotta get the third party back.02/28/2015 - 4:36pm
MonteThough it does also help that nintendo's more colorful style is a lot less reliant on graphics than more realistic games. Wind Waker is over 10 years old and still looks good for its age.02/28/2015 - 4:33pm
MonteWith the Wii, nintnedo had the right idea. Hold back on shiny graphics and focus on the gameplay experience. Unfortunatly everyone else keeps pushing for newer graphics and it matters less and less each generation. I can barely notice the difference02/28/2015 - 4:29pm
MonteON third party developers; i kinda think they should slow down to nintendo's pace. They bemoan the rising costs of AAA gaming, but then constantly push for the best graphics which is makes up a lot of those costs. Be easier to afford if they held back02/28/2015 - 4:27pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2015/02/28/the-world-is-nintendos-if-only-theyd-take-it/ I think this is a interesting op-ed, but yeah it kind of is stating the obvious.02/28/2015 - 2:52pm
prh99The government probably doesn't need an app, but I was think more along the lines of a company that was going to sell the collected info. “If you're not paying for the product, you are the product” sometimes even if you pay.02/28/2015 - 1:50pm
E. Zachary KnightWhat better way for the government to keep track of you than to get you to install an app that lets you insult the government.02/28/2015 - 11:03am
prh99No, but I looked it up and it's basically spyware. Their privacy policy says their apps tracks among other things your location and browsing habits via cookies.02/28/2015 - 8:20am
Ryan RardinHas anyone here heard of an app called iCitizen? It's basically Yelp for politicians.02/28/2015 - 5:16am
Andrew EisenAh, not linked in the way you (and everyone else) want and expect. That's true.02/27/2015 - 10:06pm
Matthew Wilsonthey are not linked in a way that tracks purchases though. the fact that they have to send a code for the other system shows that they are not linked in the way it counts.02/27/2015 - 9:39pm
 

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