Debate continues on Universal Service Fund

Hearings in the US Senate raised several options for maintaining the Universal Service Fund (USF). The USF, which delivers $5 billion a year for rural and underserved telecom users, has been undercut by VoIP and reduced long distance charges. Two options, either of which may be implemented in a new Communications Act, are to tax broadband the way regular phone lines are taxed, or to tax “phone numbers”, whatever those become as services evolve.

The USF has been proposed as a logical home for all accessibility-related programs, such as TRS and equipment distribution.

Senators back new broadband taxes | CNET News.com

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