FCC Considers Fee Structure Change to Fund Broadband

The FCC is looking at a restructuring of the fees phone companies pay each other for connection as a way to fund broadband Internet access for rural America. The target of the proposal is the $7 Billion Universal Service Fund, a federal subsidy to provide communications to underserved rural areas funded through a surcharge on long distance calls. Industry insiders have been calling for change to the formula for calculating payments — but consumer advocates say the new proposal is a billion dollar giveaway to phone monopolies paid for by consumers.  With the size of the cash pot at stake there is sure to be a lot more conversation and conflict about Chairman Martin’s proposal.