FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski made a much-anticipated speech today announcing the FCC’s plan to reform the Universal Service Fund (USF) and the Intercarrier Compensation (ICC) system. Both of these programs are outdated and need to be modernized to keep pace with 21st century demands of today’s manufacturers and their customers in all corners of the United States.
Those consumers and businesses without access to wired and wireless broadband technology are unable to reap the benefits and leverage the products and services of manufacturers. The proposed Connect America Fund will support the buildout of the broadband infrastructure to those underserved Americans.
Modernizing the USF and how it is collected and distributed will help ensure a smooth transition to the Connect America Fund. Chairman Genachowski also proposed expanding dedicated support to extending mobile broadband as well. This plan will be considered at the next open meeting of the FCC at which all commissioners are expected to vote on it.
The NAM is strongly supportive of increased deployment of high-speed Internet services and an Internet that is free from regulation. At this critical time in our nation’s economy, high-speed voice, video and data services provide limitless opportunities for manufacturers to innovate and create jobs. The NAM will send this message to the FCC in advance of the open meeting and we encourage you to do the same.
Brian Raymond is director of technology and domestic economic policy, National Association of Manufacturers.