FCC is requesting comments on how to more intelligently provide USF subsidies.
This seems more reasonable than some recent proposals. It seems that some
wealthy people today, who happen to love in the boonies, are being subsidized
by the USF.
"In addition, the FCC's Lifeline program uses means-testing to direct
assistance to low-income consumers that might not otherwise subscribe to phone
or broadband service. Recipients qualify for discounted service based on
participation in SNAP, Medicaid, SSI, Federal Public Housing Assistance, and
the Veterans Pension benefit program, as well as all current Tribal qualifying
programs. Alternatively, consumers can qualify by demonstrating income of
less than 135 percent of the federal poverty guidelines."
"In 2006, former FCC Chief Economist Thomas Hazlett observed that while
high-cost subsidies 'may enable some operators to offer prices as low as those
paid by urban and suburban residents for service that is much less costly to
supply, the lower prices are offered to all residents, rich and poor alike.'
And a 2013 paper by Thomas Hazlett and Scott Wallsten stated that '[t]he
consensus among economists' is that the high-cost program is inefficient
because 'poor urban consumers pay significant telecommunications fees to
subsidize affluent phone customers in Aspen, Colorado and Jackson Hole,
So once again, even though Craig hasn't figured this out, the FCC acknowledges
that urban and suburban service (phone and broadband) is "much less costly to
provide" than rural service. They are seeking comment on how to implement this
Possibly, the idea of lowering the rate floor is part of this proposal. The
"rate floor" would be raised considerably for people such as those in Aspen ski
resorts, and lowered for those below the poverty level. As opposed to lowering
the rate floor so that the entire USF program becomes unworkable.
End of thread.
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