Originally published: July 13, 2010
Last updated: November 29, 2010 - 11:42am
In comments filed with the Federal Communications Commission on Universal Service Fund (USF) reform, the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates agrees that the dollars saved from "cutt[ing] inefficient funding in the legacy high-cost support mechanisms" are appropriately used to support broadband deployment and adoption. But NASUCA raises questions about the "long range goal" stated in the National Broadband Plan to "replace all the legacy High-Cost programs" with the new Connect America Fund.
Based on the explicit descriptions of the CAF, it appears that its focus is to provide support only "where there is no private sector business case to provide broadband and high-quality voice-grade ser-vice...." Although NASUCA fully supports providing support for broadband, this does not mean that support for broadband can completely replace support for traditional voice services, or that such support can be limited to areas where, in the absence of support, there is no "business case" for sup-plying "high-quality voice-grade service." The statutory directives still exist for "affordable" basic telecommunications services, and for telecommunications services in rural areas that are reasona-bly comparably priced to those in urban areas; they have not been replaced by the statutory direc-tives regarding advanced services.
- NASUCA Talks Broadband, Universal Service Reform at FCC
- Create the Connect America Fund
- Connect America Fund I (NPRM)
- FCC Gets Wide Range of Input on USF Reform (updated)
- Eliminate the High-Cost program, direct all funding to support broadband availability
- Shift USF funding from High-Cost program to broadband
- Wireless High-Cost Universal Service Support Reform
- FCC Order on Universal Service Reform
- The Universal Service Fund: What Do High-Cost Subsides Subsidize?
- Cable Operators Agree It Is Time to Reform USF
- Universal Service: Transforming the High-Cost Fund for the Broadband Era
- FCC Kicks Off Universal Service Reform
- Proposed USF reforms could threaten small telcos
- Financial analysts: Large carriers will recommend cost model for broadband Universal Service program
- Clyburn Asks States for USF reform Help