332 Organizations Call For USF Contributions Reform February 14, 2022
On February 14, the SHLB Coalition, the Ad Hoc Telecom Users Committee, the Voice on the Net Coalition, INCOMPAS, NTCA - The Rural Broadband Association, and Public Knowledge led 332 total organizations in calling on broadband policymakers to repair the Universal Service Fund (USF) contribution mechanism. The USF is one of our nation’s most important tools for addressing the digital divide, but its outdated funding mechanism puts the program in danger of collapse and inequitably burdens the consumers who most often end up contributing.
In the updated letter filed with the Federal Communications Commission, the signatories – which include public interest groups, consumer organizations, anchor institutions, trade associations, and broadband service providers – ask policymakers to immediately reform and stabilize the funding mechanism, and to make contribution obligations more equitable, by adding broadband internet access services (BIAS) to the list of services that pay into the USF. This proposal is based on USF expert Carol Mattey’s recent “USForward” report, which finds that including BIAS revenues would shrink the USF fee from nearly 30 percent to less than four percent for the foreseeable future.