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If The FCC Gets Its Way, We’ll Never Close the Digital Divide 

September 26, 2019 Broadband Access , FCC , Rural Broadband , Title II , USF

The Universal Service Fund (USF) is a vital program administered through the Federal Communications Commission intended to ensure that U.S. residents, educational institutions, and healthcare facilities have access to affordable communication services, including broadband. In May, the FCC proposed capping the total amount it would expend for USF programs and combining two USF programs – the E-Rate and Rural Telehealth programs. This is a bad idea, as […]

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Small but Powerful: Despite Objections, Small ISPs Need Net Neutrality Too

May 17, 2017 Competition , FCC , Net Neutrality , Net Neutrality in 2017 , USF

As we gear up to defend and protect the net neutrality rules, parties on both sides are speaking up. One particular group, small Internet Service Providers, claim that the Federal Communication Commission’s 2015 Open Internet Order has been a death sentence for them, hindering their ability to invest and compete in the market. These small ISPs have taken to advocating against net neutrality rules but there is something missing from their claims: substance.

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FCC Learns That Ignoring Problems Does Not Make Them Go Away; Can Often Make Them Worse

June 6, 2011 TXTSMS , USF

One of the hardest things about growing up is learning how to face hard problems.  The easy impulse is always to try and ignore a hard problem and hope that it goes away.  The flaw in this strategy is that it almost never works.  In fact, it usually only makes the problem worse.  Oftentimes, it makes the problem worse in ways that you never could have expected.  Eventually there is a moment where you realize that the only way to solve the problem is to face it head on, even if that means making some hard decisions.  That is the moment you grow up a little bit.

And thus, we find ourselves considering today’s filing by Public Knowledge and the National Hispanic Media Coalition about text messaging and the Universal Service Fund.

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First Step In USF Reform? Being Honest About The Trade Offs.

February 8, 2011 AT&T , Broadband , Competition , FCC , USF

The problem of reforming the Universal Service Fund (USF) without Congressional direction means working without clear guidance on what the FCC should, institutionally, hope to achieve. “Broadband!” Is the usual answer from reform proponents. “Basic broadband for everyone! And eliminate waste. And spur investment. And promote innovation. And create jobs. And education. And –“ Well, you get the idea.

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New Congress, Old Congress — Telecom Stalemate Continues

November 3, 2010 FCC , National Broadband Plan , Network Neutrality , Network Open Access , USF

After all the shouting has died down, after the House elects its Republican leaders and after the Senate sorts itself out, the reality is that policy in the telecom sector will likely remain where it has been for the past two years – in state of suspended animation.  That’s a shame, because the people who can most benefit by some reasonable and commonsense changes may not have the opportunity to do so.

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