In the last decade, a multitude of ambitious programs to “bridge the digital divide” have been discussed and debated. Many of them have been implemented. Few of them have moved the needle, even as the coronavirus pandemic highlights the need to expand connectivity to unserved areas. In 2016, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) expanded its […]
It’s been more than two decades since President Bill Clinton championed the goal of making affordable Internet access a universal reality in America. With each passing year, the economic and social inequalities caused by the “digital divide” grow more acute. To meet this challenge, Congress needs to reassess its approach and learn from its past mistakes. You […]
With FCC Commissioner Pia’s discovery that the current universal telephone service subsidy may contain one-half billion in waste, it is time for the FCC to rethink using this telephone subsidy as a model for broadband services. To read about this issue is detail, visit our piece in FORBES.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is contemplating a new universal service program that would subsidize broadband services for low-income consumers, and it is looking to use its Lifeline program, which currently subsidizes low-income telephone service consumers, as the model to follow. However, a closer look at the history of the billion-plus Lifeline program shows a wasteful […]
On August 22nd, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) directed the Universal Service Administrative Co. (USAC), the agency that administers all of the payouts through the USF, to retroactively accept all e-rate applications for subsidized technologies and services from the 2010 fiscal year. Additionally, to pay for a wealth of new projects, the FCC has carried […]
ITEM: TELECOM SUBCOMMITTEE TO HOLD UNIVERSAL SERVICE REFORM (USF) REFORM HEARING Universal service has long enjoyed widespread support in principle as an objective of US telecommunications policy. However, changes in technology, regulation and markets over the years have complicated its pursuit and raised serious questions about best to define its objectives and to fashion rules […]
This ConsumerGram draws on conclusions from research done by academics and public policy analysts inside and outside government. It addresses the current scheme of subsidizing some telephone companies by making other companies pay fees well above costs. These fees represent hidden taxes that consumers ultimately pay. This “tax and subsidy” scheme has a long […]