The changing landscape of USF and ICC have profound implications on the broadband ecosystem. Stay tuned to Telecompetitor for the latest news, analysis, & commentary.

Wheeler’s AT&T/ DirecTV Approval Plan: Any Rural Conditions?

AT&T could be required to submit all of its interconnection agreements, along with regular network performance reports, to the FCC as a condition of FCC approval of the company’s plan to acquire DirecTV in a $48.5 billion deal announced in May 2014. In a statement...Learn More

Zayo/ EAGLE-Net Deal: Are EAGLE-Net Troubles Over?

Colorado intergovernmental entity EAGLE-Net Alliance has entered into a partnership with Zayo Group to oversee and support EAGLE-Net’s statewide fiber network. The agreement is an interim one but according to a press release the companies hope to establish a long-term relationship. Zayo, also based in...Learn More

FCC’s Pai: A One-Page Rule Change Could Enable Stand-Alone Broadband

The rule changes required to enable rural carriers to use Universal Service funding to support stand-alone broadband can fit on a single page, argued FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai in a statement released yesterday. To support his assertion, Pai included a single page appendix to his...Learn More

Frontier Accepts CAF II Broadband Funding Worth $283 Million Annually

Frontier Communications is wasting no time getting started on its Connect America Fund Phase II deployment. The company today said it will accept $283 million in annual funding from the FCC to cover some of the costs of bringing broadband to parts of its local...Learn More

Windstream Bullish on VDSL2+ Bonding

Windstream has great hopes for VDSL2+ bonding technology, said Bob Gunderman, chief financial officer and treasurer for the company, yesterday at Barclay’s High Yield Bond & Syndicated Loan Conference, which was also webcast. Just over half (51%) of Windstream residential customers should be able to...Learn More

Lifeline Broadband: 61 Interest Groups Offer Guidelines for FCC

A broad group of 61 interest groups has sent a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler advocating for the FCC to adopt a Lifeline low-income program for broadband this year.  The letter also makes broad recommendations about how that program should be structured. The move...Learn More

“Two-Path” Connect America Fund for RoR Carriers Shaping Up

Representatives of five telecom associations have been meeting regularly with the goal of devising recommendations for a Connect America Fund program for the nation’s small rural rate of return (RoR) carriers – and according to a letter sent to the FCC yesterday, progress is being...Learn More

Wheeler Lifeline Broadband Proposal: Carriers Would No Longer Determine Eligibility

Low-income Americans could have some or all of the costs of broadband service covered through the Universal Service Lifeline program if a proposal from FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is adopted. Currently the Lifeline program pays participants $9.25 a month toward the cost of landline or...Learn More

FCC Low-Income Broadband Pilot Results Released

If low-income people don’t subscribe to broadband is it because the cost of service is too high? Or is it related more to the cost of a wired or wireless device? Or do these people simply not understand broadband and its benefits – a situation...Learn More

Lawmakers Pressure FCC on Stand-Alone Broadband

The pressure is on the FCC to modify Universal Service rules to allow small rural telcos to collect Universal Service funding for stand-alone broadband. More than 60 senators and 115 congressmen yesterday sent letters to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler calling on the commission to modernize...Learn More

FCC’s O’Rielly: Stand-Alone Broadband in the Works

The FCC appears serious about changing the rules of the Universal Service/ Connect America Fund to allow rural carriers to collect funding to support lines that are used only to deliver broadband service, rather than requiring voice to also be part of the offering. Stand-alone...Learn More

Survey: Seniors Want to Keep Lifeline Phone Program

Launched back in 1985, the federal Lifeline program provides qualified low-income consumers, including many retired people on fixed incomes, access to telecoms services from private-sector service providers at discounted rates. Part of the Universal Service Fund (USF), Lifeline discounts today can be used for wireless...Learn More