USF Revamp

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Reps Rick Boucher (D-VA) and Lee Terry (R-NE) released a universal service reform discussion draft Fri that includes a requirement that USF recipients offer high-speed broadband within 5 years of the legislation’s enactment. Additionally, the measure caps the total amount of universal service support and changes the calculation methodology for the non-rural, high-cost portion of the fund from geographic to wire center averaging. A hearing on the draft is set for Nov 17. ? NCTA filed a petition for a rulemaking with the FCC Thurs to overhaul USF, proposing the Commission stop subsidizing incumbent phone companies in areas where competition exists (including from cable voice service). A study NCTA submits projects the change could save up to $2bln that could go to improving broadband deployment and adoption.

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