FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski wants to apply a reworking of the $7 billion Universal Service Fund (USF), currently used to subsidize phone service in rural areas and for low-income families, and apply it toward bringing broadband into hard-to-serve areas.
Bringing that plan from paper to action, however, won't be easy as rural phone companies have long opposed any changes to the USF.
"USF is a multi-billion dollar annual fund that continues to support yesterday's communications infrastructure," Genachowski said in a Wall Street Journal article. "We need to reorient the fund to support broadband communications."
Additionally, Genachowski said established spectrum allocations could be re-evaluated as part of a plan to free up more airwaves for mobile broadband. The FCC is considering taking spectrum from broadcasters and using it for mobile broadband--much to the dismay of broadcasters
- see this Wall Street Journal article (sub. req.)
Spain, Finland develop universal broadband plans
Congress targets VoIP again in USF bill
VoIP wins exemption from USF in Nebraska
Another USF option for VoIP carriers