Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Use Universal Service Fund for wireless broadband, FCC and telecomms say

FCC and telecomunnications companies are simultaneously calling for reforms in the Universal Service Fund, which pays for landline phone service in remote areas. Recently, in interior (“inland empire”) Washington State, over $17000 a piece was spent on each of 17 people for conventional service.

There is a legitimate debate as to using the fund to set up wireless and/or satellite networks that could provide complete phone and broadband service much more cheaply, but would have to be carefully vetted as to the number of companies and amount of competition involved.

The story appears on p A17 of the July 20 Washington Post, “Reforms urged in federal funding for phone lines”, by Cecilia Kang, here.

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