Universal Service Fund

FCC Announces July 18, 2024 Open Commission Meeting Agenda

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will hold an Open Meeting on the following subjects on Thursday, July 18, 2024, which is scheduled to commence at 10:30 a.m. in the Commission Meeting Room of the Federal Communications Commission. 

FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel's Response to Members of Congress Regarding the 5G Fund for Rural America

On April 24, members of Congress wrote to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel to "urge the FCC to carefully consider and account for the impact of investments funded by the Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) to maximize the reach and efficiency of the 5G Fund." On July 2, Chairwoman Rosenworcel responded, agreeing that it is critical to maximize the efficiency and impact of federal broadband programs.

Congress grills FCC on ACP, mapping, broadband funding overlaps

On July 9, a House subcommittee held a hearing to get an update on how the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is addressing some of the most pressing broadband issues in the country. Here’s what the FCC had to say:

NTCA CEO Shirley Bloomfield Remarks at Media Institute

Shirley Bloomfield, CEO of NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association, discussed the importance of rural broadband to small-town America and issues of concern to community-based broadband operators, including the Universal Service Fund and the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program (BEAD), at a Communications Forum luncheon at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington, D.C., on July 10, 2024. "I have to highlight what I think has been the most successful rural broadband initiative that has ever existed that flies a little bit under the radar.

FCC Announces Certain RDOF Census Block Groups Are Eligible for Other Funding Programs

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announces that certain Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) census block groups (CBG) are now eligible for other funding programs.

5G Fund: How many locations will be eligible for this $9 billion program for rural 5G?

As all of us have focused on the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program to bring fixed broadband to rural areas, the Federal Communications Commission has quietly moved another program forward: the proposed “5G Fund for Rural America”, a program that could be as large as $9 billion. As of March 2024, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel circulated to colleagues a draft order that would restart the 5G Fund.

House Debates FCC Budget

On July 9, the House Commerce Committee's Communications and Technology Subcommittee held a hearing on the fiscal year (FY) 2025 budget for the Federal Communications Commission. FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel testified before the subcommittee along with fellow commissioners Brendan Carr, Geoffrey Starks, Nathan Simington, and Anna Gomez.

FCC Extends Pause of Lifeline Voice Phase-Out and Mobile Data Changes

The Federal Communications Commission's Wireline Competition Bureau extended, for an additional year, the waiver pausing both the phase-out of Lifeline support for voice-only services and the increase in Lifeline minimum service standards for mobile broadband data capacity.

FCC Provides Guidance for RDOF and CAF Phase II Support Recipients on Procedures for Provider Defaults to Ensure That Broadband Networks Are Deployed to All Consumers

The Federal Communications Commission's  Wireline Competition Bureau provided guidance to Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) and Connect America Fund (CAF) Phase II support recipients and other stakeholders regarding the processes for provider defaults. Support recipients are showing significant progress in meeting their deployment milestones and there is no demonstrated need for widespread relief from the RDOF and CAF Phase II default penalties.

AT&T CEO Underlines the Need for an Effective Implementation of BEAD

AT&T CEO John Stankey said the most critical issue facing the telecommunications industry is the effective implementation of Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program. To close the digital divide, Stankey said, additional policies should be created to ensure that all BEAD Program funds (“every dollar of taxpayer money”) are used to expand access to broadband as quickly as possible.