Tuesday, February 14, 2012

FCC Reforms USF with Connect America Fund

And all the things that the FCC is working on.

The FCC overhauling Lifeline too! ECT may not be the business to be in when the FCC starts picking primary and secondary in each market.

FCC's $4B digital divide plan: How the FCC is going to use USF funding to close the digital divide - access to the rest of America.

a bunch of docs about USF Reform and Inter-Carrier Compensation reform.

"In keeping with its arcane practice of releasing final written regulatory orders days and sometimes months after they are voted on, the Federal Communications Commission has so far issued only an executive summary of its important Universal Service Fund / Intercarrier Compensation reform.

Here's one summary of the USF Reform Order. "The Order and Final Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, of ultimate importance to American's rural telecom providers, was adopted by unanimous vote by the Commission this morning." The full 7-page summary is in PDF here.

This is the headline for the USF Reform order: FCC CREATES 'CONNECT AMERICA FUND' TO HELP EXTEND HIGH-SPEED INTERNET TO 18 MILLION UNSERVED AMERICANS; CREATING JOBS & INCREASED CONSUMER BENEFITS. Agency delivers bipartisan vote to modernize America's communications infrastructure and expand broadband throughout the nation. 5 PDF's [press release], [statement of Chairman], [statement of Commish Copps], [Statement of Commish McDowell approving and concurring] and [statement of Commmish Mignon Clyborn]:

Connect America Fund (WC Docket No. 10-90); A National Broadband Plan for Our Future (GN Docket No. 09-51); Establishing Just and Reasonable Rates for Local Exchange Carriers (WC Docket No. 07-135); High-Cost Universal Service Support (WC Docket No. 05-337); Developing an Unified Inter-carrier Compensation Regime (CC Docket No. 01-92); Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service (CC Docket No. 96-45); Lifeline and Linkup (WC Docket No. 03-109) and Mobility Fund (WT Docket No. 10-208)

"We are taking a momentous step today—moving ever so close to fulfilling the goal Congress set forth for universal service in the 1996 Telecommunications Act—to ensure that all Americans have access to affordable voice and advanced communications services."

Connect America Fund and Intercarrier Compensation Reform Order and FNPRM Executive Summary.

"The annual funding target is set at no more than $4.5 billion over the next six years."

"In addition to creating a new process for the distribution of the funds, the FCC also changed the rules associated with Inter-Carrier Compensation (ICC). Although, this was expected, Broadvox and other ISPs and ITSPs will have to conduct further analysis to determine how these changes will impact our carrier/wholesale business," David Byrd, SVP at Broadvox, wrote.

CONNECT AMERICA FUND; A NATIONAL BROADBAND PLAN FOR OUR FUTURE; ESTABLISHING JUST AND REASONABLE RATES FOR LOCAL EXCHANGE CARRIERS; HIGH-COST UNIVERSAL SERVICE SUPPORT; DEVELOPING AN UNIFIED INTER-CARRIER COMPENSATION REGIME; FEDERAL-STATE JOINT BOARD. Today the Commission comprehensively reforms and modernizes the universal service and inter-carrier compensation systems to ensure that robust, affordable voice and broadband service, both fixed and mobile, are available to Americans throughout the nation. (Dkt No. 10-90 01-92 10-208 96-45 05-337 07-135 03-109 09-51 ). Action by: the Commission. Comments Due: 01/18/2012. Reply Comments Due: 02/17/2012. Adopted: 10/27/2011 by R&O. (FCC No. 11-161). WCB WTB

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