House Telecom Slates Universal Service Reform Hearing

The house Telecommunications Subcommittee has scheduled a hearing Sept. 16 on chairman Rick Boucher's (D-Va.) Universal Service Reform bill.

The bill, which the National Cable & Telecommunications Association supports, makes it clear that broadband is a universal service supported by the fund, reforms the fund by reducing the support to incumbent carriers in areas where at least 75% of the households have competitive choices, and also requires wireless carriers to bid competitively for USF support.

There will be a bipartisan Hill staff briefing on the bill Sept. 15.

The Federal Communications Commission has made expanding the fund to underwrite broadband deployment one of the key elements in its national broadband plan.

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.