Last updated: April 20, 2011 - 8:23am
The National Cable and Telecommunications Association said the Federal Communications Commission should repurpose approximately $2 billion in support for rural phone carriers through the Universal Service Fund for broadband over a three-year period.
The FCC is overhauling the USF program and solicited industry input on the creation of a Connect America Fund to subsidize broadband in unserved areas, and also is looking to reform the intercarrier compensation regime. NCTA said the commission should first immediately cap both the overall size of the Universal Service Fund and the amount of annual high-cost support at 2010 levels, as the FCC suggested in the proposed rule change. In comments filed April 18, the NCTA said shifting $2 billion in funds from 2012 to 2014 from the USF High Cost Program to a Connect America Fund would still leave roughly $2.5 billion in existing high-cost support for the three-year interim period.
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