Cable talks Universal Service Fund reform; a la carte programming idea raises its head again

>  The Universal Service Fund (USF) is still a good idea for making certain that everyone has service--even if that service is broadband--as long as it's properly administered and targeted to unserved areas, cable groups have told the FCC in comments responding to a national broadband plan proposal to move the fund from phone service to broadband. Story.

> Although they're a good start, smaller programming packages aren't enough, says a story in the Los Angeles Times that revives the three dreaded words--a la carte--as a way to price out and deliver content. Story.

> Maybe the universe is changing, but for the first time in its nine year history the Supernova Forum will leave the San Francisco Bay area and plop down in Philadelphia this month, sponsored by--and the universe has to be changing--Google and Comcast.  The event is a business-college-government telecom and tech conference that's honchoed by FCC staffer and Wharton Legal studies professor Kevin Werbach. It will, of course, be held at the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania. Story.

> It used to be having power was a good thing. These energy-conscious days, though, it's better to have less power, which is apparently why Netgem has chosen the MaxLinear "ultra low power silicon tuner" for its set-top box designs. News release.

And finally... WorldGate President-CEO George Daddis admits he's an optimist. He believes, according to a story in The Wall Street Transcript that the telecommunications industry is "actually ready to turn to video telephony over the next three-to-five years" because "more than ever people are putting video through devices." Story.