USF/ICC Zone

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

FCC Low-Income Broadband Pilot Results Released

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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

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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

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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

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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

FCC Fines Carrier for Failing to Register, Avoiding USF Payments

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May 4, 2015 – Washington, DC – The Federal Communications Commission plans to fine Simple Network, Inc., a New Jersey prepaid calling card provider, $100,000 for allegedly providing interstate telecommunications services without registering with the FCC through the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC).  Simple Network’s...Learn More

Obama to Launch Low-Income Free E-Book Program Today

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President Obama is expected to announce today a program to bring free e-books to low-income students. White House officials told reporters yesterday that several book publishers have agreed to provide e-books in the program valued at $250 million. In addition, the president will seek commitments...Learn More

AT&T and SNET to Pay FCC $10.9 Million in USF Lifeline-Related Penalties

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April 29, 2015 – Washington, D.C. – To resolve an investigation by the Federal Communications Commission’s Enforcement Bureau, AT&T and its former subsidiary Southern New England Telephone (SNET) have agreed to pay $10.9 million in penalties for overbilling the FCC’s Lifeline program, a program which...Learn More

FCC Offers $1.7B for Broadband Connect America Fund, $411 Avg Per Line

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The FCC late yesterday offered the nation’s largest price cap telcos $1.7 billion annually for six years to bring broadband to parts of their service territories where broadband is not available today. Funding offered averages just over $400 per line annually ($411). The commission made...Learn More

Wheeler: FCC Will Tackle Rate-of-Return CAF Program This Year

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The FCC has committed to “taking action” on a broadband Connect America Fund program for the nation’s smaller rate-of-return carriers by the end of the year, said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler in a blog post Friday. To further that goal, the commission has met with...Learn More

UETN/ CenturyLink Deal: Big Education Win Yields Gigabit Spillover Benefits

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CenturyLink yesterday announced a big win, gaining the contract to provide Carrier Ethernet service at speeds up to 100 Gbps to 832 schools and educational locations connected to the Utah Education and Telehealth Network (UETN). But it was actually an even bigger win than those...Learn More

Bluewave: VoIP, the Cloud, Telco-Utility Partnership and Opportunity Collide

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South Carolina-based HTC, the nation’s largest telecom cooperative, is adding voice to Bluewave Communications‘ broadband and video services, offered over a fiber-to-the-home network in North Carolina and owned by a local power utility. The power utility, Lumbee River Electric Membership Coop, enlisted HTC to provide...Learn More

NTCA: Wireless Broadband Substitution for Landline Not Viable

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Wireless-based alternatives are not a viable substitute for landline broadband, according to a new report issued this week that was sponsored by NTCA- The Rural Broadband Association and written by Vantage Point Solutions. Terrestrial wireless networks are considerably more costly on a per-bit basis than...Learn More