Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Competition as a Barrier

TechDirt points to an FCC report that lists "critical gaps" in reaching Universal Broadband, but doesn't mention that Lack of Competition.

The funny part is the USF:

Federal Universal Service Fund (USF) Structure: Doesn’t support broadband deployment and adoption despite over $7 billion spent to subsidize telecommunications annually.

  1. The majority of USF funding supports affordable phone service, not broadband.
  2. The four USF programs -- high-cost support for rural phone service, support for advanced services in schools and libraries, support for phone service to low-income families, and rural health care support -- are not coordinated to maximize deployment opportunities to fill broadband gaps.
  3. High-cost funding mechanism rewards inefficiency, and funding not determined by broadband needs.
  4. An unsustainable funding mechanism and increased demands for support have doubled the amount paid by consumers since 2000.
  5. Accountability is limited for use of high-cost fund for broadband support.

My notes: as traditional telco revenues and LD revenues decrease, USF contribution percentage must increase even more than the current 12%. It's too much.

Also, if $7B per YEAR can't solve Broadband and Telephony issues in the US, how is a one-time money grabbing program going to fix anything?

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