This second of three workshops on Universal Service reform focused on modernizing current programs that support voice service into a Connect America Fund (CAF) that will drive investment in and access to 21st Century broadband and voice services in rural areas.
Universal service has been central to the Federal Communications Commission’s mission since the Communications Act of 1934 created the agency and committed our nation to making vital communications services accessible to all Americans. The Universal Service Fund has helped connect virtually every American to our 20th Century communications grid.
Panel discussions in the morning will focus on current and projected capabilities and deployment costs for different broadband technologies and how such capabilities and costs may impact the implementation of the Connect America Fund. The afternoon panel will focus on targeting support for areas unserved by broadband through the use of a technology-neutral competitive bidding.
In addition to the panel discussions, technology demonstrations of satellite broadband and 4G Wireless broadband services will be provided before and after the Workshop panels and during the lunch break.
Featuring a broad range of stakeholders, the workshops will inform the FCC’s consideration of proposals from the USF/ICC Transformation NPRM unanimously adopted Feb. 8, 2011. The FCC has indicated that it intends to adopt reforms in this rulemaking in the coming months.