Reaction to USF Decision

FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks said, “I’m pleased that the Fifth Circuit agreed with what I and many others—including bipartisan members of Congress—have said about the Universal Service Fund. It is constitutional, both in concept and implementation. The Universal Service Fund continues to connect rural communities, schools, libraries, healthcare providers, and low-income households all across the country. It is a vital program for bringing equal opportunity to all Americans and closing the digital divide.”

The Fifth Circuit has once again affirmed the importance of our nation’s universal service mission and the FCC’s obligation to ensure it is achieved by placing the program on a sound financial footing," said Greg Guice, Director of Government Affairs at Public Knowledge. “We are pleased that the Fifth Circuit has agreed with our and others’ briefs of the important role of this critical program to advance access to broadband for all people. We hope the Sixth and Eleventh Circuit take notice of this opinion and rule consistently. We look forward to continuing to work with the Commission to preserve and advance universal service.”

“SHLB is extremely pleased that the court recognized the importance of the universal service program for the thousands of schools, libraries and health care providers that receive Universal Service Fund (USF) support. In the 1996 Telecom Act, Congress provided the FCC with both specific guidance and flexibility to adjust the USF program over time to embrace changes in the marketplace,” said John Windhausen, Jr., Executive Director of the SHLB Coalition. “These programs are essential to bridging the digital divide, ensuring economic growth, promoting digital opportunity, and strengthening democracy.”

“Today the Fifth Circuit court upheld the constitutionality of the Federal Communications Commission’s Universal Service Fund (USF) and the agency’s use of Universal Service Administration Company (USAC) to administer USF programs, including Lifeline. NaLA is pleased with this decision as the USF and Lifeline in particular provides targeted support to low-income Americans who struggle to afford essential communications services necessary to participate in our digital society. NaLA is proud to serve these consumers and ensure they can connect to family, community, jobs, education, telehealth and other service using our members’ mobile voice and broadband solutions,” said David B. Dorwart, Chairman of the National Lifeline Association



Reaction to USF Decision Commissioner Starks Statement on USF Decision Public Knowledge Applauds Fifth U.S. Circuit Court Decision Affirming Constitutionality of FCC’s Universal Service Fund SHLB Pleased with Universal Service Court Victory NaLA Statement on Fifth U.S. Circuit Court Decision