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Blog Posts by Julie Veach

A Model for Connecting Rural America to Broadband

by By Julie Veach, Chief, Wireline Competition Bureau
April 22, 2013 - 01:11 PM

The FCC reached another milestone today in its implementation of Universal Service reforms to ensure rural Americans have access to voice and robust broadband services – including extending broadband to the millions of Americans that are unserved today. 

Our primary tool to achieve this goal is the transformation of the former high-cost fund – the program supporting rural voice service – to a Connect America Fund supporting modern networks that provide both broadband and voice service.  Phase II implementation is well underway for those areas of the country where 80% of unserved Americans live and key to this transformation is targeting funding efficiently to the areas where it is needed most, outside areas where competitive providers operate. With our last Broadband Progress Report, we posted an online map of broadband service today, including the unserved areas where 19 million Americans live.

Today’s milestone – a Report and Order– is the next step toward adopting a final cost model that will pinpoint as accurately as possible how much support is needed, on a granular (census- block) level, to deliver both voice and broadband, without overspending.  The model framework – an “efficient provider framework” – adopted by Commission staff today resolves key assumptions about the design of the network and network engineering, including by:

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Charting Broadband Opportunities for Low-Income Americans

by Julie Veach, Acting Chief, Wireline Competition Bureau
July 11, 2012 - 11:00 AM

We are delighted by the response last week to our groundbreaking Lifeline Broadband Adoption Pilot competition.  Our Pilot takes aim at a problem that perpetuates poverty in the 21st Century:  the low rate of broadband adoption by low-income Americans.  Providers of all kinds submitted a total of 24 applications proposing innovative programs to help us better understand and tackle that issue.

Over the years, our Lifeline program has helped tens of millions of low-income consumers afford telephone service.  But with broadband as essential today for jobs and opportunities as the phone was in the last century, the FCC in January included in its comprehensive reforms and modernization of Lifeline a Pilot program to explore ways to increase the low rate of broadband adoption among low-income Americans. Using $25 million in savings from Lifeline reforms, we will fund the selected Pilot projects for a year, while collecting valuable real world data about the experience to help the FCC determine how to use our Lifeline program to effectively increase broadband adoption.

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Attorney Honors Program Launches

by Julie Veach, Deputy General Counsel
July 29, 2011 - 04:59 PM

I am delighted to be able to say that the FCC has launched the Attorney Honors Program. Our program is a two-year employment and training program designed to introduce new and recent law school graduates to the field of communications law and policy. We are accepting applications from law students in their final year of study and judicial clerks serving in the 2011-12 judicial term for openings in the Fall 2012 class. Applications must be received by September 23, 2011.

Many prior Honors Program participants are still here at the FCC and have assumed positions of leadership, advised Commissioners, defended the agency before federal appellate courts, and led teams working on some of the most challenging problems before the agency. Others have taken opportunities at private companies, law firms, public interest organizations, and on the Hill. The Program aims to prepare new attorneys for the greatest challenges of communications law practice in the context of doing the work of the agency and serving the public interest. Consider applying. Visit our Attorney Honors Program page for more information, eligibility criteria, and applications instructions.

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