FCC Votes to Overhaul $8 Billion Telecom Fund

Posted on: November 18th, 2011 by NADO Admin

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has voted to reform the Universal Service Fund (USF) and the Intercarrier Compensation (ICC) system with the Connect America Fund (CAF) to extend broadband infrastructure to Americans who have no access to broadband.  The CAF will swap subsidies for traditional phone service to pay for broadband in rural areas by replacing the Universal Service Fund and shifting the focus of the fund to support broadband capable networks, setting performance goals, and capping the fund at $4.5 billion.  It will also devote $500,000 per year to expand mobile broadband in areas that are not covered through a new “mobility fund,” cap the uncontrolled growth of the fund with new budget provisions, and overhaul the system of payments between phone carriers.  On October 27, the FCC held a public hearing and voted unanimously to initiate the Connect America Fund (CAF). 

The FCC expects the switch to expand high speed internet to rural America over the next six years, increasing economic growth by $50 billion. 

More information on the Connect America Fund can be found here (http://www NULL.fcc NULL.gov/).

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