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.

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

Non-Profit RFP Seeks Construction of Rural Healthcare Fiber Networks

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A non-profit organization representing healthcare and educational institutions is seeking contractors that can build wide area fiber networks for these institutions in rural areas lacking broadband connectivity. The organization, known as MiCTA, was founded in 1982 to negotiate group purchasing agreements with the local incumbent...Learn More

CEO: Windstream Likely to Accept CAF II Broadband Funding

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Windstream expects to accept Connect America funding in Phase II of the program to cover some of the costs of bringing broadband to customers who can’t get broadband service today, said Windstream CEO Jeff Gardner in an interview with Telecompetitor last week. “We’re very optimistic...Learn More

Telcos on Universal Service Reform: Contribution Base Must Be Addressed

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Reforming how the Universal Service program is funded is critical at a time when a wide range of reforms have been made to how Universal Service funding is spent, said several telcos and telecom associations in comments filed with the House Energy & Commerce Committee...Learn More

CAF Speed Target Could Create New Winners and Losers

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Even as some urban Internet service providers are boosting high speed access speeds to a gigabit, while many competitors are raising speeds to 50 Mbps to 100 Mbps, rural ISPs might face a similar challenge in the near future, if not to the same degree....Learn More

FCC: E-Rate Reforms Could Bring Wi-Fi to Every Student in Five Years

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The FCC estimates that 10.5 million students per year could gain Internet connectivity inside their schools if the commission moves ahead with E-Rate reforms outlined in July. Within five years, all U.S. schools would have internal Internet connectivity, the FCC says. The E-Rate program is...Learn More

Windstream CFO Offers Rural Telecom Providers “Elegant Exit” Option

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Small telecom service providers and cable companies could have an “elegant exit strategy” by selling their network assets to the real estate investment trust that Windstream plans to spin off, said Windstream Chief Financial Officer Tony Thomas today. Thomas, who will be the CEO of...Learn More

RUS Broadband Loan Awards Made to Three Rural Telcos

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The Rural Utilities Service has awarded nearly $40 million in broadband loans to support new or improved broadband service. The program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture,  provides low-interest loans to bring broadband to rural areas where deployment costs are higher than in urban...Learn More