This page is part of Benton Foundation's online archive. We've kept some old stuff around for historical purposes.

TDF Update

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 establishes the Telecommunications Development Fund to:

Promote access to capital for small businesses in order to enhance competition in the telecommunications industry; Stimulate new technology development, to promote employment and training; and Support universal service and promote telecommunications services to underserved rural and urban areas.

The Fund is directed to:

Make loans, investments, or other extensions of credit and provide financial advice to eligible small businesses. Prepare research, studies, or financial analyses.

The TDF is funded by the interest earned on deposits in spectrum auctions conducted by the Federal Communications Commission. To date, the Fund has ~20 million in assets. As there are many more auctions scheduled in the coming months, the Fund is expected to grow to ~$100 million in the next 2-3 years.

The TDF will not make grants, but loans to small businesses.

Although there has much been much news about the Fund in its first year, the TDF Board has met a few times and plans to release its first study in March 1997.

At the Alliance for Public Technology conference in Washington, DC February 21st, TDF Board Member Thomas Hart, Jr. said he hoped the first loans would be made in June or July of 1997.

For more information see the FCC's Office of Communications Business Opportunities Homepage and their factsheet on the TDF.

Back to the Telecommunications Act of 1996 Homepage
Last updated: 25 February 1997 kdh