By calling on the FCC to submit a report on the future of USF, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act beckons an overdue overhaul of the program. And rightly so – without reform, USF will eventually collapse under its own weight. Rather than leaving our universal service programs reliant on a shrinking source of revenue – such as a “tax” on traditional phone service, which is now the case, or on broadband connections, which has been proposed – funding should move to a system of direct Congressional appropriations or be expanded to include contributions from all major players in the internet ecosystem, which would greatly improve the sustainability of the fund. It’s time to modernize USF and update the way it’s funded to allow the program to live up to its name as the bridge to universal broadband.” -IIA

IIA’s comments to the FCC on the future of the Universal Service Fund are available for download.

Filed 02/16/2022