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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.