Expanding the fund that subsidizes telephone service for poor and rural communities and finding more spectrum for wireless broadband services will be key pieces of a federal plan to bring high-speed Internet connections to all Americans.
Those were among the preliminary recommendations that the Federal Communications Commission outlined Wednesday in a report on its national broadband plan. The plan, which was mandated by the stimulus bill, is due in February.
One proposal would use money from the Universal Service Fund to build broadband networks in underserved communities and pay for high-speed Internet connections for those who cannot afford them. The Universal Service Fund, which is supported by a surcharge on phone bills, was established to subsidize phone service.
Another proposal would explore ways to make more wireless spectrum available for mobile broadband services, including the potential reallocation of some spectrum held by television broadcasters and federal agencies. More…