Universal Service Fund

The Universal Service Fund (USF) provides financial support that enables schools and libraries, healthcare providers, low-income consumers, and consumers in high-cost areas to obtain essential broadband services. Unfortunately, the future of the USF is uncertain. USF Funding is generated by assessing a fee on a subset of telecommunications services – an antiquated system that has not been updated in 25 years. The SHLB Coalition is leading a collaborative effort to adopt a fairer and more stable revenue source for the USF. The “USForward” study explains how including broadband services in the funding mechanism would substantially reduce the fee, therefore preserving the USF for the foreseeable future. SHLB is also defending the constitutionality of the USF system in various legal proceedings.


Key Documents

February 2022
USF Contributions Reform - Call to Action


September 2021
USForward: FCC Must Reform USF Contributions Now




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Comments to the FCC regarding the future of the USF


February 17, 2022

SHLB responded to the FCC's Notice of Inquiry about the future of the USF with recommendations to ensure the USF continues to function effectively, including that the Commission should immediately repair the contribution mechanism.


Download the Comments


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Joint ex parte letter to the FCC regarding USForward


February 14, 2022

SHLB was one of 332 organizations that wrote to the FCC urging it to immediately take action to reform and stabilize the USF funding mechanism.


Download the Letter 


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Joint motion to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals to delay USF case
January 14, 2022

SHLB joined with the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society, the Center for Media Justice, the Competitive Carriers Association, NDIA, NTCA, and USTelecom to ask that the court case challenging USF's constitutionality be delayed.


Download the Letter


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Joint ex parte letter to the FCC urging action on USF contributions reform


November 29, 2021

SHLB and 253 other organizations wrote to the FCC urging it to immediately repair and stabilize the USF contributions mechanism, as described in the USForward report.


Download the Letter 



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