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

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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."

 

 
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PHX Corphttp://www.gamespot.com/articles/need-for-speed-will-require-an-online-connection/1100-6427672/ Need For Speed Will Require An Online Connection05/29/2015 - 7:54am
Wonderkarpjust be happy and encourage it.05/29/2015 - 7:37am
DocMelonheadSorry about that, but I'm surprise at what IP participate in this discussion.05/29/2015 - 7:25am
E. Zachary KnightIron, I did not Google Search because I figured the ESRB would publish such infor on their site, which is where I looked. http://www.esrb.org/ratings/ratings_process.jsp05/29/2015 - 7:22am
WonderkarpDocMelonHead, don't look a gift horse in the mouth05/29/2015 - 7:21am
E. Zachary KnightDoc, Uncalled for. Please keep things civil.05/29/2015 - 7:21am
MattsworknameThey were discussing the appeals process for Esrb ratings Doc.05/29/2015 - 7:21am
DocMelonheadDid IP post something that isn't related to White Supremecy?05/29/2015 - 7:13am
IronPatriotBut hey, you're welcome.05/29/2015 - 5:23am
Andrew EisenEZK did say he didn't find any info on the appeals process. And if all he did was look at the ratings process part of the ESRB's website, he wouldn't have. That's where I would have looked too. But hey, thanks for being thorough and finding the info.05/29/2015 - 5:01am
Andrew EisenDude, again. I am NOT saying there is no appeals process. THERE OBVIOUSLY IS. All I am saying is that the appeals process is not described in the ratings process part of the ESRB's website.05/29/2015 - 4:59am
IronPatriotI googled appeal esrb.org and it is the first and third hits. Second is esrb talking about appeals for web publishers. Gamefaqs is fourth.05/29/2015 - 4:01am
IronPatriotZachary said he did not find any information about a formal appeals process. I did a simple search and found two places on the esrb site with the info. Just sayin.05/29/2015 - 3:57am
IronPatriotOn Google I get "1 Written Testimony of Patricia E. Vance President ... - ESRB" http://www.esrb.org/about/news/downloads/pvtestimony_6_14_06.pdf05/29/2015 - 3:55am
Andrew EisenNow, that post on GameFAQs was made four years ago. It appears the ESRB has since moved the appeals process stuff behind the publisher login on its website.05/29/2015 - 3:32am
Andrew EisenOh, third link on the Google search. Okay. That leads to a GameFAQs message board which quotes a section of the ESRB website that includes a description of the appeals process. But when you follow the link, that quote doesn't exist.05/29/2015 - 3:30am
Andrew EisenThird link down from what? Look, I'm not arguing the existance of an appeals process. There obviously is one. I was merely noting that it's odd that it isn't described on the website's ratings process section but it is on the mobile site.05/29/2015 - 3:25am
IronPatriotOK, so use the third link down, which describes the appeals process and is not on the mobile site"Publishers also have the ability to appeal an ESRB rating assignment to an Appeals Board, which is made up of publishers, retailers and other professionals."05/29/2015 - 2:47am
Andrew EisenRight, which links to the ESRB's mobile site. On the website (again, unless I'm overlooking it) the appeals process is locked behind the publisher login.05/29/2015 - 2:37am
IronPatriotHuh? Google "appeals esrb". It is the first link. Click it. No login requested.05/29/2015 - 2:31am
 

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