Federal Internet Law & Policy
An Educational Project

Universal Service Proceedings

Dont be a FOOL; The Law is Not DIY
- Broadband
- Universal Service
- - Proceedings
- - VoIP
- - Steven's Report
- Digital Divide
- Municipal Broadband
- Funding
- - State
- - Private
- - Americorp
- - CIA
- - D Commerce
- - - NIST
- - - NTIA
- - - Stimulus
- - D Education
- - FCC
- - - Erate
- - - - CIPA
- - - - Erate Guide
- - - - Erate References
- - - Telemedicine
- - HHS
- - HUD
- - IM Library S
- - D Labor
- - NSF
- - SBA
- - USDA
- - - Rural Utility S

Merger Conditions

Federal Activities

Connect America

Use savings to spur investment in high-speed Internet in unserved areas.

  • Identify unserved areas using the forthcoming National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) national broadband map.
  • Create the Connect America Fund to quickly and efficiently deliver support to unserved areas.
  • Use market-based policies to support providers in a technology-neutral manner, targeting areas where broadband funding will have the biggest impact.
  • Ultimately, streamline and consolidate the five separate Universal Service Fund programs that support rural phone networks into the Connect America Fund. This will constrain spending and bring fixed and mobile broadband to unserved areas while preserving voice service for all, creating jobs and fueling economic growth.

Stimulate investment in broadband by reforming the Intercarrier Compensation system.

  • Eliminate wasteful billing disputes by closing loopholes and tightening rules to prevent "phantom traffic," which is traffic that has been disguised so it can't be identified for billing purposes.
  • Amend rules to reduce "traffic pumping," a practice that drains revenues from the system by exploiting existing rules to earn more intercarrier compensation. Reclaimed revenues could be invested in networks or used to reduce prices for consumers.
  • Gradually reduce per-minute Intercarrier Compensation charges. These charges create incentives for carriers to maintain legacy networks that maximize intercarrier revenues rather than investing in advanced, efficient IP-based infrastructure.
  • Develop a system to offset reductions in intercarrier rates, including, where necessary, support from the Connect America Fund.

Increase accountability for recipients and for government, and more effectively measure program performance.

  • Adopt clear performance goals and metrics for the Connect America Fund.
  • Require increased disclosures about the operating performance and financial condition of companies that receive universal service support.
  • Increase transparency, oversight, and accountability.

Universal Service Reform Docket 10-90. Comments Due 60+ Fed Reg; Replies Due 90 + Fed Reg. Comments can be filed at FCC ECFS. Learn about FCC Process.

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