Today, WTA, along with eleven other organizations, sent a letter to House Democratic and Republican leadership to support the inclusion of H.R. 6723, the Universal Broadband Act, which directs the FCC to begin assessing broadband for contributions to the Universal Service Fund, as they comprehensive infrastructure legislation.
The letter states that H.R. 6723 “will expand the pool of providers that contribute to USF—the program that enables such connectivity for schools, libraries, rural, high-cost areas, and low income households—by including broadband services. Unfortunately, even as the importance of universal broadband connectivity increases and the USF serves as an essential tool for advancing such connectivity, the system that governs contributions to the USF is based upon 1990s-era service definitions and has continued to erode and become less stable. By directing the expansion of the USF contribution base to include broadband access services— those very services that have become a primary focus of our country’s shared universal service mission—this bipartisan bill charts a course for steadier long-term support of the USF program on a more equitable basis, and it will therefore help to promote achievement of all aspects of that mission.”