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.

Three Men Indicted for Lifeline Program Abuse

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The Federal Communications Commission’s efforts to crack down on abusers of the Universal Service low-income Lifeline program seem to be paying off. Late last week the FCC, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Justice announced that three Florida...Learn More

Stakeholders Debate Rural Broadband Deployment Challenges at FCC Workshop

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An FCC workshop today was organized with the goal of offering insight on how the commission should allocate funding for rural broadband trials and ultimately, how a broadband Connect America Fund for rate of return carriers would be structured. The workshop drew on a wide...Learn More

GAO: Government-Funded Broadband Helps Small Business

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Small businesses in communities with federally funded or municipally operated broadband networks have gained better broadband connectivity – and that has helped the businesses operate more efficiently, says the Government Accountability Office. The GAO made its conclusions based on meetings with small businesses in 14...Learn More

Lessons from the 2013 Broadband Connect America Fund

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The final accounting from the 2013 Broadband Connect America Fund program is all but completed – and the results were considerably different from what occurred with the 2012 program. I tallied up data from the FCC (see chart below), which yielded two key takeaways about...Learn More

What’s In The FCC Order About TDM-to-IP Transition Trials?

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The TDM-to-IP transition trials that the FCC announced last week will include several types of trials, with a different objective for each trial type. In a 114-page order adopted last week and released Monday, the commission provides additional details about the trials, which are referred...Learn More

FCC: E-Rate Reforms Will Shift Funding Toward Broadband

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Updated February 4 The FCC today said it will invest an additional $2 billion over the next two years to support broadband networks in the nation’s schools and libraries. The money will come from the Universal Service E-Rate fund, also known as the schools and...Learn More

FCC Moves on TDM-to-IP Transition, Rural Broadband CAF

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The FCC today took steps to address two open issues that have been lingering for many months – TDM-to-IP transition trials and a broadband Connect America Fund program for small rural telcos. Rather than making any decisions, the commission outlined plans to seek input on...Learn More

Thirty Percent of Connect America Broadband Funding in Limbo

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The fate of as much as 30% of money earmarked for five price cap carriers in this year’s Connect America Fund program is in question, the FCC revealed in a press release yesterday. Back in August, the FCC announced that the telcos had asked for...Learn More

Numerous Local Telcos May Be Required to Refile Study Area Boundaries

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A spot check conducted by Telecompetitor suggests that a significant number of the nation’s local exchange carriers (LECs) will need to re-submit information about their study area boundaries to the FCC by January 13. Earlier this year the FCC asked the LECs and some state...Learn More

Telecom Act to Get an Overhaul; USF Bill Introduced

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An initiative to update the 1996 Telecommunications Act, announced yesterday, drew praise from a diverse group of stakeholders even though the announcement offered no hint of what form the update might take. The announcement came from House Republicans Fred Upton and Greg Walden, who head...Learn More

Mobility Funding Winner Blaze Wireless Shares Roll-out Plans

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Nebraska-based carrier Blaze Wireless plans to expand its HSPA+ network to include portions of two counties that previously lacked 3G service.  The expansion will be funded, in part, through the Connect America Fund mobility fund. “The areas that we’re putting sites on are very rural...Learn More

Report: Refocusing Needed to Bridge the Digital Divide

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Internet access has spread to the degree that a shift in priorities is in order to bridge the digital divide, according to a report from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). “The focus,” according to “Redefining the digital divide”, should now be on “the willingness and...Learn More