FCC Launches 'Inquiry' Into Universal Service Fund - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


FCC Launches 'Inquiry' Into Universal Service Fund

Agency seeks comments on managing and oversight of the USF, which is used primarily to subsidize rural telecom providers and low-income families.

The Federal Communications Commission said Wednesday [June 15] that it has opened a "broad inquiry" into the management and oversight of the Universal Service Fund, a small step toward USF reform, an idea that many telecom industry participants and observers have called for.

While the inquiry does not address USF's thorniest branch -- how and from whom it collects fees -- it is an opening gambit in the direction of overall USF reform, an industry and political battle that will likely pit rural-state senators and states against urban representatives and providers.

In a prepared statement, FCC chairman Kevin Martin said the inquiry "reaffirms the commission's commitment to improve the management, administration and oversight of the [fund]. It is incumbent upon us to take the steps necessary to improve the operational efficiency of the program while providing greater certainty to the recipients."

The USF also provides funds for Internet access at libraries and schools, a responsibility that got the FCC into hot political water last year when it cut off such funding in the middle of the presidential election season. In his statement Wednesday, Martin said the new inquiry seeks to streamline the E-rate program while also "ensuring that the programs' funds are used appropriately."

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
This new report from InformationWeek explores what we've learned over the past year, critical trends around ITOps and SecOps, and where leaders are focusing their time and efforts to support a growing digital economy. Download it today!
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

IT Leadership: 10 Ways to Unleash Enterprise Innovation
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  6/8/2021
Preparing for the Upcoming Quantum Computing Revolution
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author,  6/3/2021
How SolarWinds Changed Cybersecurity Leadership's Priorities
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  5/26/2021
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
Planning Your Digital Transformation Roadmap
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
White Papers
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll