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‚Äč 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."

 

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
Papa MidnightSpeculation from PC Gamer. Don't hold your breath. http://www.pcgamer.com/2014/07/21/microsoft-job-listing-says-nice-things-about-pc-gaming-isnt-clear-if-it-means-them/07/21/2014 - 5:58pm
MaskedPixelanteI dunno, it's probably Vevo powertripping.07/21/2014 - 5:52pm
Andrew EisenMP - Makes you wonder what the intention behind the removal was. Stop the RickRolls? Yeah, like removing that one video is going to make a difference.07/21/2014 - 3:27pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.billboard.com/articles/business/digital-and-mobile/6165313/youtube-blocks-original-rickroll-video Moment of silence, the original Rickroll video has been blocked in many regions.07/20/2014 - 3:53pm
PHX CorpUseless DLC news: Killzone Fart Pack http://ps4daily.com/2014/07/killzone-fart-dlc/07/20/2014 - 12:56pm
MaskedPixelantehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uU1mK2ig_GU They did their research beforehand.07/19/2014 - 4:41pm
Sleaker@james_fudge - are you sure the FCC can pick and choose? the general rules I read as passed in the act don't really indicate that, but I didn't read through the entirety.07/19/2014 - 4:19pm
MaskedPixelanteOf course, Saban's entire point hinges on them not knowing what the tokusatsu genre is.07/19/2014 - 1:57pm
lomdrLink to where you saw this, Sora-chan?07/19/2014 - 1:50pm
MaskedPixelanteThis is just... confusing to me... They're not being sued, but it looks like extortion, but maybe now the devs can make demands of Saban? I dunno...07/19/2014 - 1:47pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/07/18/chroma-squad-dev-agrees-to-royalty-split-ultimatum-from-power-ra/07/19/2014 - 1:43pm
Sora-ChanSo apparently, Towns is updating again. Not sure what that means, since last we heard it got abandoned.07/19/2014 - 5:42am
Matthew Wilsonthe 10c is based of the fact that it only cost them 2c a gig to send data around to start with, and that does include infrastructure07/18/2014 - 5:24pm
Matthew Wilsonhere is the thing the average user does not use enough bandwidth to justify usage based billing at most they would be allowed to charge 10c a gig. the avrage user would need to use around 600 gigs a piece.07/18/2014 - 5:23pm
james_fudgeThe FCC can apply what rules it sees fit and ignore rules that make no sense under Title II.07/18/2014 - 4:57pm
Sleaker@MW - ahhh thanks for the info. I still don't see how Title II or reclassifying would benefit industry or do what people are asking the FCC to do.07/18/2014 - 2:43pm
Matthew Wilsonif they do, they would than be subject to the utility commission for price approval. the short answer is no because it would bring even more regulations.07/18/2014 - 1:50pm
SleakerIf Internet gets rebranded as a Title II do you think cable companies will start charging per-usage similar to every other utility?07/18/2014 - 12:57pm
MaskedPixelanteI guess 'recommiting to classic style JRPGs like the upcoming Bravely Second' is coming later, now is the time for microtransactions at a level that would make EA say "guys, take it easy on the paywall".07/18/2014 - 10:39am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/07/17/final-fantasy-record-keeper-relives-the-series-battles-for-mobi/ Square is really, really, REALLY hoping you all forgot that Final Fantasy: All The Bravest was a thing...07/18/2014 - 10:36am
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician