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




+ more info
Ex parte to Commissioner Starks' Office regarding USF reform

July 14, 2022


SHLB spoke with Commissioner Starks' Office in support of contribution reform to the Universal Service Fund, as well as the constitutionality of the USF system.


Download the Letter 


+ more info
USForward response to AT&T ex parte
July 8, 2022

SHLB and the USForward coalition submitted an ex parte letter in response to an AT&T letter which questioned the validity of research USForward filed with the FCC.


Download the Letter


+ more info
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


+ more info
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 



View Archived Documents →