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.

Rural Gigabit Broadband is Part of FCC $2 Billion Connect America Fund Auction Plans

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Rural areas that currently lack broadband could gain broadband at speeds above 1 Gbps as the result of action taken by the FCC at its monthly meeting today. Speeds of 1 Gbps downstream and 500 Mbps upstream are one of four speed levels established by...Learn More

Sprint Announces Wireless Lifeline Services Partnership with i-wireless

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), May 02, 2016 – Sprint (NYSE:S) today announced it has entered into an agreement with i-wireless, LLC to strengthen its position as a leader in the wireless Lifeline services industry. The partnership will merge Sprint’s Assurance Wireless and i-wireless’ Access...Learn More

Broadband Economic Impact Report: Rural Broadband Supports 70K Jobs, $100B in E-Commerce

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Investment in rural broadband boosts the economy – not just locally, but beyond – according to a new broadband economic impact report from The Hudson Institute sponsored by the Foundation for Rural Service. Rural broadband service providers contributed $24.2 billion to the economies of the...Learn More

$11.7 Million Available for RUS Community Connect Broadband Grants

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The USDA’s Rural Utilities Service unit has $11.7 million available for RUS Community Connect broadband grants and is now accepting applications for funding. Interested parties have until June 17 to apply for grants of at least $100,000 but not to exceed $3 million. Applicants also...Learn More

RUS Broadband Loan Program for FY 2016 Now Open, Up to $10 Million Available

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) is accepting applications for fiscal year 2016 RUS Broadband Loan and Loan Guarantee program, the agency announced April 8. FY 2016 Rural Broadband Access Loans and Loan Guarantees of $100,000 to $10 million will be...Learn More

Frontier CAF Funding Jumps by $291 Million From Verizon Acquisition

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Frontier’s acquisition of Verizon lines in three states last week came with an added bonus — $48.5 million annually, or $291 million in total, from the FCC in Frontier CAF funding for the six-year program. That’s the amount of funding that Verizon last year accepted...Learn More

USF Lifeline Reforms Adopted Amid Budget Cap Dispute

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The difference between a cap and a budget or whether there is a difference – and which if either has been applied to the newly reformed low-income Lifeline program – was a hot topic at yesterday’s FCC meeting, where the USF Lifeline reforms were adopted....Learn More

At Long Last, FCC Adopts Rural Carrier Universal Service Reform

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After years of debate, the FCC has adopted Universal Service reform for the high-cost USF program for the nation’s smaller rural rate-of-return carriers, with the goal of spurring broadband deployment to rural areas where broadband is not currently available. The FCC estimates that about 20%...Learn More

Obama ConnectALL Program Targets Broadband Adoption

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Using an approach we’ve come to expect from him, President Obama today announced a range of broadband initiatives with a common theme (in this case, broadband adoption) and he created a moniker (in this case, ConnectALL) to define the initiative. ConnectALL’s goal, according to a...Learn More

USF Lifeline Reforms Would Cover Broadband, Expand Eligible Providers

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The low-income Universal Service Fund Lifeline program is on tap for reform. The FCC plans to vote later this month on USF Lifeline reforms that would change program rules to allow funding recipients to use the money toward mobile or fixed voice or broadband service...Learn More

Connect America Fund for Rural Carriers: Stand-Alone Broadband, Lower ROR on Tap

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A long-awaited order for modernizing the Universal Service program for rate-of-return carriers is currently circulating within the FCC. Although details haven’t been released, a blog post from FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler offers some basic information about the order. Importantly, the order proposes that the nation’s...Learn More

Bi-Partisan Congressional Rural Broadband Caucus Wants to Bridge Digital Divide

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A bi-partisan Congressional Rural Broadband Caucus plans to focus on bridging the rural-urban digital divide. According to press material, the group will “facilitate discussion, educate Members of Congress and staff and develop policy solutions.” Four Congressmen will serve as co-chairmen, including Kevin Cramer (R- N.D.),...Learn More