FCC Chairman To Outline USF Reform Proposals

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Federal Communications Commission chairman Julius Genachowksi will outline the commission's proposed Universal Service Fund and Intercarrier Compensation reforms in a speech Thursday at the agency's Washington headquarters.

He plans to circulate a reform order the same day, for a vote at the Oct. 27 public meeting, according to an FCC spokesman.

The FCC is transitioning the Universal Service Fund from subsidizing phone service in high-cost and hard-to-reach areas to subsidizing broadband, including wireless broadband via the creation of a new mobility fund.

The chairman's other goals in reforming the system are controlling the size of the multi-billion fund and cracking down on waste, fraud and abuse.

Intercarrier compensation is what telecom companies charge each other to exchange and terminate traffic on their networks.

Big telecom companies have proposed their own ABC (America's Broadband Connectivity) plan for reform that cable operators say puts a thumb on the scale in favor of those companies.

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