Skip Navigation

Federal Communications Commission

English Display Options

Commission Document

Press Release: FCC Releases Connect America Fund Order

Download Options

Released: November 18, 2011

NEWS
Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

445 12th Street, S.W.
Internet:
http://www.fcc.gov

Washington, D. C. 20554

TTY: 1-888-835-5322


This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.
See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

FOR
IMMEDIATE
RELEASE:

NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:

November
18,
2011
Neil
Grace,
202-418-1032
Email:
neil.grace@fcc.gov
Mark Wigfield, 202-418-0253
Email:
mark.wigfield@fcc.gov

FCC RELEASES ‘CONNECT AMERICA FUND’ ORDER TO HELP EXPAND

BROADBAND, CREATE JOBS, BENEFIT CONSUMERS


Sweeping reforms will modernize U.S. communications infrastructure and expand


broadband to 18 million unserved Americans throughout the nation

Washington, D.C. – The Federal Communications Commission has released its comprehensive reforms to expand
access to high-speed Internet and voice services nationwide and benefit consumers by accelerating deployment of
modern communications networks. Adopted unanimously late last month, the overhaul transforms the FCC’s
outdated universal service and intercarrier compensations systems into a new Connect America Fund, or CAF,
representing the most significant policy step ever taken to connect all Americans to broadband.

The CAF—with an annual budget set at no more than $4.5 billion, the same as the current universal service funding
level—is expected to help connect 7 million Americans to high-speed Internet and voice in rural America over the
next six years, generating approximately 500,000 jobs and $50 billion in economic growth over this period. Main
Street businesses across the country will benefit from the opportunity to sell to new customers throughout the U.S.

The Order adopted by the FCC recognizes the growing importance of mobile broadband and makes it an
independent universal service objective for the first time. Dedicated support to expand mobile broadband nationwide
to tens of thousands of road miles where millions of Americans live, work, and travel will be provided through a
new Mobility Fund.

The Order also phases down antiquated, opaque, regulated charges for the exchange of voice traffic among
carriers—known as intercarrier compensation—and transitions to a simplified, uniform “bill-and-keep” framework,
which removes hidden subsidies on consumers’ bills, increases efficiency, and eliminates impediments to the
deployment of modern networks. Intercarrier compensation reform will provide benefits to all Americans through
improved service and lower costs.

The Connect America Fund will put America on the path to universal broadband and advanced mobile coverage
without increasing costs. By eliminating waste and targeting support where it is most needed, these reforms keep
universal service funding on a firm budget, and they will ensure rigorous accountability for Fund recipients.

The full Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking includes an executive summary highlighting key
reforms. The rules adopted as part of these reforms should take effect by January 1, 2012.


-FCC-
News about the Federal Communications Commission can also be found
on the Commission’s web site www.fcc.gov.

Note: We are currently transitioning our documents into web compatible formats for easier reading. We have done our best to supply this content to you in a presentable form, but there may be some formatting issues while we improve the technology. The original version of the document is available as a PDF, Word Document, or as plain text.

close
FCC

You are leaving the FCC website

You are about to leave the FCC website and visit a third-party, non-governmental website that the FCC does not maintain or control. The FCC does not endorse any product or service, and is not responsible for, nor can it guarantee the validity or timeliness of the content on the page you are about to visit. Additionally, the privacy policies of this third-party page may differ from those of the FCC.