What is the Univeral Service Fund "USF"?

The "Universal Service Fund" (USF) - a program administered by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and funded by companies providing telephone service across the country - has been essential in providing telecommunications services to residents of rural, hard to serve places. On October 27, 2011, the FCC approved a six-year transfer process that would transition money from the Universal Service Fund to a new $4.5 billion per year Connect America Fund for broadband Internet expansion, effectively putting an end to the USF by 2018.

What is the "Connect America Fund & Intercarrier Compensation Reform Order"?

On October 27, 2011, the FCC adopted its "Connect America Fund & Intercarrier Compensation Reform Order" which established a $4.5 billion Connect America Fund to expand broadband access to seven million unserved rural Americans, replacing the Universal Service Fund's high-cost support and explicitly endorsing broadband as a universal service. The Connect America Fund also includes $500 million for mobile broadband, of which $100 million is set aside for mobile broadband on tribal lands.

How is the FCC's "Reform" going to effect Rural America?

Implementation of the Order as written will result in some or all of the following devastating consequences:

What could happen to My Town?

Many jobs would be lost throughout the town if the network was not functional. Local businesses could not operate without telephone or Internet services. New businesses would not be attracted to the area, harming the local economy. Schools and hospitals would not be able to operate. Industries like energy, agriculture, national defense would be put into jeopardy.

What can I do to protect My Small Town?

We have enclosed a postage-paid postcard for you to sign and write your own comments. We will make these available to all of the necessary parties. Our company's association with the Small Company Coalition will help us continue to use every effort to secure the best possible outcome for our customers.