Thursday, June 22, 2006
DSL Prime on USF: "In Washington, the next FCC meeting will feature much grand rhetoric on how they are "saving universal service" and "bringing the Internet to every school." The Bells and the rurals have cut a deal to rearrange the shares of the USF rakeoff, financed by a tax on VoIP and probably internet services. Good reporters will ask how much of the $10 billion to 15 billion in USF and ICC really goes to those laudable purposes. Everyone at the FCC knows much of the USF money is wasted, much of the rest an incumbent subsidy passed on to investors, and that far less than half the money goes where's it's needed. I'll bet no official will say anything of the sort, of course. Few if any reporters understand the issue well enough to write a story about where the money really goes. Expect a lot of gossip instead. Kevin had to pull the broadcaster's four station must carry proposal off the agenda. He's usually careful to count his votes beforehand, so lots of speculation likely."