Space Ramblings

Is the Universal Service Fund Coming to Tax Your Broadband?

The FCC has just voted to use your Universal Service Fund taxes to help defray the costs of broadband access in rural areas. For those who don’t know the USF or Universal Service Fund is that extra dollar or so on your bill which goes to fund rural telephone access for you rich big city types or poor suburban types for that matter. It’s a legacy of soon to be indicted porkmeister Senator Ted Stevens from Alaska and it’s a legacy that’s soon likely to be turned to internet taxes too. As has been pointed out, the Universal Service Fund can’t cover both the costs of rural broadband and rural phone access. On the other hand piling on a Universal Service Fund tax to broadband access is far more likely, if not now then in a few years from now.

The irony of course is that without the Universal Service Fund, phone access in many rural areas would be much spottier than it is now, something else that would not exist if Ron Paul were in power. One wonders if his own phone access is not at all dependent on USF sponsored development?

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