FCC Issues NPRM Regarding Universal Service Fund Reform


On April 21, 2010, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) issued the first in a series of promised Notices of Proposed Rulemakings (“NPRMs”) designed to implement its National Broadband Plan.  By this NPRM, the Commission took its first step toward long-awaited Universal Service Fund (“USF”) reform.

The Commission outlined proposals to implement the Plan in order to achieve universal broadband deployment.  Specifically, the FCC sought comment on the viability of its proposed economic model targeting un-served and underserved areas and suggestions to adapt the model to efficiently provide all Americans with broadband access.

Further, the NPRM sought comment on proposals to terminate USF disbursements to legacy services and shift support to broadband communications services.  For example, the FCC suggested capping the overall size of the high-cost program at 2010 levels, modifying existing regulations applicable to smaller carriers, and eliminating support for multiple providers where the market cannot support even a single provider.

Client Advisory

The FCC‘s NPRM represents the first substantive Commission action aimed at comprehensive universal service reform.  Clients are advised to review the FCC‘s NPRM, available in either Word or Acrobat.  Various publications relating to the NPRM are linked below, including the News Release and Commissioner Statements.  Clients interested in filing comments or with questions about the NPRM or this Advisory should contact Jonathan S. Marashlian at jsm@commlawgroup.com or (703) 714-1313.

News Release: Word | Acrobat
Appendix C to NPRM: Acrobat
Genachowski Statement: Word | Acrobat
Copps Statement: Word | Acrobat
McDowell Statement: Word | Acrobat
Clyburn Statement: Word | Acrobat
Baker Statement: Word | Acrobat

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