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FCC to propose reforming Universal Service Fund

Fri, 03/05/2010 - 9:34am
(AP) -- Federal regulators trying to bring high-speed Internet connections to all Americans will propose tapping the government program that now subsidizes telephone service in poor and rural areas.

The Federal Communications Commission will include a proposal to reform the Universal Service Fund as part of a national broadband plan due to Congress in less than two weeks.

The proposal envisions migrating the program over the next decade to pay for high-speed Internet connections instead of the traditional voice services that it currently finances.

The $8-billion-a-year Universal Service program is funded through a surcharge on long-distance bills. The proposal will lay out several options to pay for the reforms, including one that would require no additional money from Congress.

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