House E&C Leaders Seek USF Reform Update

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Bipartisan leaders of the House Energy & Commerce Committee has asked the Federal Communications Commission for an update on its reforms of the Universal Service Fund.
That is the industry-funded phone subsidy that is being migrated to broadband and reformed, according to the FCC. to make it more efficient and effective as well as to reflect the changes from wired to wireless service.

In a letter to FCC chairman Julius Genachowksi, the chairs and ranking members of the committee and Communications subcommittee have asked for a lot of data on the FCC's reform of the high-cost and low-income USF programs.

"With the recent steps taken by the FCC to modernize and reduce waste within the USF high-cost and low-income programs, it's incumbent upon this Committee to have the most up-to-date performance information," they wrote.

One of Congress' issues with the program is that it is a cross-subsidy, with some states paying in more than the get out. Number one on the list of data the legislators want from the commission is a state-by-state list of total disbursements from 2009 to 2011 including an estimate of net contributors and net recipients.

Also among the more than two dozen requests is for a timeline of all decisions needed to implement the new rules and the progress the FCC has made to date.

Top check out all the questions the FCC wants answered, click here .

They have given the FCC until Aug. 10 to comply.