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 Fines Advanced Tel for Not Paying USF Fees

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January 26, 2015  — Washington, D.C. – The Federal Communications Commission plans to fine Advanced Tel, Inc. (Advanced Tel) $1,588,988 for failing to make required payments to federal programs that promote universal access to telecommunications services. “All phone companies are required to participate in universal...Learn More

Changes to RUS Broadband Loan Program Include Rural Gigabit Pilot

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When President Obama spoke last week about reforms to the USDA Rural Utilities Service broadband loan program, he was referencing changes adopted in the 2014 Farm Bill, a USDA official advised in an email to Telecompetitor. Although the changes have received little publicity, they include...Learn More

FCC Eyes 25 Mbps Broadband Definition, Finds Slow Progress

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Just one month after the FCC raised the broadband speed for the Connect America Fund program, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler wants to raise a different broadband speed benchmark — and by a considerably higher amount. Using the new benchmark speed, the commission also is poised...Learn More

How the FCC Plans to Stretch Budget to Support New Broadband Speed Target

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When the FCC in December raised the broadband speed target for the Connect America Fund  to 10 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream, some stakeholders questioned carriers’ ability to meet that target without an increase in the size of the fund, considering that the previous...Learn More

Telecom 2014: The Top 12 Stories Are All “To Be Continued”

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Telecompetitor covered a lot of big telecom stories in 2014, but there were 12 that stood out in my mind – and I thought readers might find it helpful to see them all recapped in one place. If there is any single common thread among...Learn More

FCC: Connect America Fund Broadband Speed Target Raised to 10 Mbps

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Price cap carriers receiving money in Phase 2 of the Connect America Fund will have to deploy broadband at speeds of at least 10 Mbps downstream  and 1 Mbps upstream to areas of their local service territories where broadband is not available today. The new...Learn More

FCC Rural Broadband Experiment Winners Include ILECs, WISPs, Others

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The Federal Communications Commission has provisionally chosen nearly 40 entities to receive funding in the commission’s rural broadband experiment initiative. Among those chosen are 14 wireless ISPs, seven local telephone companies, four power companies and two cable companies. Other winners include competitive carriers that use...Learn More

Wheeler Proposes E-Rate Funding Increase

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FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler wants to increase the funding cap for the e-rate schools and libraries program with the goal of bringing broadband to every student desktop in the country. In a briefing with reporters yesterday, Wheeler said the proposed increase, which would raise a...Learn More

FCC: Rural Broadband Experiment Funding to Be Awarded in “Coming Weeks”

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The FCC said today that it will make decisions about which network operators will participate in rural broadband experiments in “the coming weeks.” The commission said it received proposals for almost 600 projects from 181 applicants. The program, which will award a total of $100...Learn More

USF’s Rural Healthcare Connect Offers Network Operator Opportunities

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The rural healthcare portion of the Universal Service Fund offers some significant opportunities for rural network operators and their communities. The USF Rural Healthcare Connect program pays up to 65% of network costs for rural healthcare providers seeking to gain high-speed connectivity to support applications...Learn More

CAF Target Speed: CWA Union Wants 10 Mbps

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Perhaps unsurprisingly the Communications Workers of America union would like to see the FCC raise the target speed for the Connect America Fund to 10 Mbps from its current 4 Mbps – a move the commission has been considering for several months. That program aims...Learn More

USDA Broadband Loan and Grant Recipients Announced

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture said today that it has awarded $190.5 million in broadband grants and loans to 19 communications service providers for projects in 25 states. The USDA makes low-interest loans to rural telephone companies through the Telecommunications Infrastructure Loan program, which was initially...Learn More