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E&C to Mark Up CURB Lifeline Bill

The House Energy & Commerce Committee has fast-tracked a vote on H.R. 4884, the CURB Lifeline Act, which has scheduled an April 18 markup (amendments, if any, and, if all goes as planned, a vote to refer it to the House for a floor vote.)

It held a legislative hearing on the bill this week.

The bill would cap the Lifeline Universal Service Fund the FCC has just voted not to cap, and would cut off voice-only subsidies while the FCC has proposed a three-year phase-out with a possibility for extension.

Republicans are moving quickly on the bill, which is opposed by Democrats, following the collapse--on the day of the FCC's March 31 public meeting--of a Republican-backed compromise lifeline proposal, which would have capped the fund.

Lifeline is the subsidy to low-income residents for advanced telecom, which the FCC is migrating from voice to broadband.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.