USF High Cost Program
The release of the National Broadband Plan in March 2010 initiated a series of changes, reforms, and modernizations to the USF High Cost Program. The materials on this webpage are designed to serve as a resource – providing you with information on actions by the FCC and the advocacy and outreach efforts of WTA to ensure Americans living in rural areas continue to receive high-quality advanced communications services.
As eligible telecommunications carriers, all WTA members participate in the Universal Service Fund’s Lifeline Program, which is designed to make communications services more affordable for low income Americans. As the program continues to evolve, WTA advocates for policies that benefit low income customers and keep administrative burdens on providers to a minimum.
The Schools and Libraries (E-Rate) Program is a program within the Universal Service Fund that assists schools and libraries across the United States in obtaining and affording advanced telecommunications services. WTA members are committed to serving their communities, especially anchor institutions such as schools and libraries.
USF Contributions Modernization
The Universal Service Fund is funded by assessments on long-distance voice revenue from landline and wireless telecommunications providers. The providers pass these assessments along to consumers on their bills. Due to declining long-distance revenue and increased needs of the program, the contributions factor (the percentage used to assess revenue) has increased steadily from less than 10% fifteen years ago to over 25% today.
Cyber & Supply Chain Security
Securing networks, data, and devices is one of the biggest challenges facing businesses and consumers today. The importance of robust cybersecurity protections has never been greater in light of revelations of large data breaches affecting public and private sector entities–large, small, and everything in between.
Privacy & Data Security
Securing networks, data and devices is one of the biggest challenges facing businesses and consumers today. The importance of robust cybersecurity protections has never been greater in light of recent and continuing revelations of large data breaches affecting public and private sector entities–large, small, and everything in between.
There is ongoing debate on the need for reform of the video programming and distribution marketplace. Small rural video providers have historically faced barriers to access of desirable content at reasonable prices and under reasonable terms.
As policymakers seek solutions to the scourge of unwanted robocalls, WTA continues to represent the interests of rural networks that may not be able to easily implement costly solutions to end them— such as STIR/SHAKEN—in the same manner as larger companies.
USDA Rural Utilities Service
WTA’s member companies have a long-standing working relationship with USDA’s Rural Utilities Service, going back more than 75 years to its predecessor agency, the Rural Electrification Administration. WTA has a vested interest in making sure RUS’ telecommunications loan and grant programs meet the needs of its member companies and their customers.