Obama’s Third Generation of Broadband Policy and the Universal Broadband Imperative

[Commentary] The next major battle over broadband policy will be over the future of the Universal Service Fund.

It’s telling that the Universal Service Fund spends more than $8 billion each year on providing telephone connectivity to rural areas, and also to low-income individuals. Two other components of the Universal Service Fund offer Internet connectivity to schools and libraries, and to hospitals and health care centers. This amounts to more, on an annual basis, than Obama’s one-time investment in broadband infrastructure. How the Universal Service Fund should be reconfigured is, as of now, up for grabs. The existing mechanisms in the Universal Service Fund have been criticized by academics and by economists. In their eyes, it wasn't cost-effective at meeting its telephone-connectivity mandate. Now the mandate itself needs to be different.

(Aug 22)


Obama’s Third Generation of Broadband Policy and the Universal Broadband Imperative