The FCC plans to temporarily cap the Universal Service Fund, a growing subsidy program that gave $1.2 billion last year to carriers that provide service in rural parts of the U.S. The commissioners voted 3-2 to limit the payments, and the caps will remain until the regulators figure out a way to reform the program. While the news is a big loss for smaller rural carriers, bigger carriers like Verizon Wireless and AT&T will not have to worry about increasing fees to contribute to the USF. Both AT&T and Alltel agreed to the cap as long as the FCC approved their most recent respective acquisitions: AT&T bought Dobson and Alltel was acquired by PE groups.
For more on the cap:
- read this article from the AP
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