Print 30 comment(s) - last by Lerianis.. on Dec 5 at 11:30 AM

Universal Service fund pays for rural telephone service today

One of the best ways to get broadband service into the homes in rural areas is by using wireless airwaves. The problem for wireless broadband providers is that the airwaves used for wireless services don’t travel as far and are not as strong as those used by TV broadcasters.

The FCC is looking at many different methods of getting wireless broadband into the homes of rural Americans. One of the methods being considered is taking some of the airwaves currently allocated to TV broadcasters and giving them to wireless broadband providers. The term give is too strong, the airwaves are worth billions of dollars, and auctions would be held to sell the airwaves if they were taken from broadcasters and used for wireless broadband services.

The FCC is also looking at reallocating  the federal phone-subsidy program to allow some of the funds in the program to be used to support wireless broadband services in rural areas according to the Wall Street Journal. The fund in question is the Universal Service Fund (USF), which is a federal program funded by consumers though a charge on each phone bill. The funds are currently used to subsidize phone service in rural areas and to provide service to low income homes. Plans to revamp the USF in the past have been met with staunch resistance by broadcasters and their supporters in Washington.

FCC chairman Julius Genachowski said, "USF is a multibillion dollar annual fund that continues to support yesterday's communications infrastructure. We need to reorient the fund to support broadband communications." The FCC is already working to identify airwaves that could be reclaimed from broadcasters.

If the FCC moved forward with the plan to take airwaves back from broadcasters, estimates peg the cost of buying the airwaves back at $12 billion. The estimated value of the airwaves when auctioned off to wireless providers is estimated to be $64 billion.

Genachowski said, "Much of what we see suggests that mobile broadband can be the pre-eminent platform for innovation in the next decade. To be the global leader in innovation 10 years from now, we need to lead the world in wireless broadband. We will need to find ways to free up new spectrum to mobile broadband. This will require examining old allocation decisions."

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Didn't this happen last year?
By Suntan on 12/2/2009 12:40:32 PM , Rating: 2
Ah, wasn't this one of the reasons the FCC shut off analog transmissions and (finally) moved all broadcast to digital? To free up frequencies for new use? Where has that gotten us?

Or let me guess, the government will use their new "heavy hand" to "appropriate" these new channels away from TV broadcasters, then sell them off to Verizon, ATT, etc. (which will sit on them to keep other companies from being able to startup and compete with them) for much larger sums, then hand that money out to dead beats in the form of ever more subsidies targeted to help the those that “don’t have access” to this or that…

“Here you go Mr. Deadbeat, here is some more money. Those Evil Corporate Fat Cats wanted to keep it so they could broadcast TV for themselves, but we think it should be given to you instead. Just remember who loves you come next election time.”


RE: Didn't this happen last year?
By JediJeb on 12/2/2009 5:52:32 PM , Rating: 2
I actually miss the reception I had with the analog TV signal. The new digital signals are much more prone to dropping out with rain conditions, and at least when the signal was bad on analog I could still see a fuzzy picture and get sound, with digital it is all or nothing.

It still was a good move to make the transition, but I think there is work to be done to make it what it can be.

RE: Didn't this happen last year?
By Lerianis on 12/5/2009 10:56:40 AM , Rating: 2
They need to put some more 'repeaters' that capture the signals and 'amp them up' again in order to get the same amount of distance that they got with analog signals.

It's the same thing that you do with a 'weak' wireless signal.... you put a repeater or amplifier into the signal path to 'boost it'.

"Folks that want porn can buy an Android phone." -- Steve Jobs
Related Articles

Most Popular Articles5 Cases for iPhone 7 and 7 iPhone Plus
September 18, 2016, 10:08 AM
Automaker Porsche may expand range of Panamera Coupe design.
September 18, 2016, 11:00 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM
No More Turtlenecks - Try Snakables
September 19, 2016, 7:44 AM
ADHD Diagnosis and Treatment in Children: Problem or Paranoia?
September 19, 2016, 5:30 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki