Careful application of USF OK with cable, McSlarrow will tell Senate

NCTA President Kyle McSlarrow is expected to tell the Senate Commerce Committee today that the cable industry is OK with some form of broadband-based Universal Service Fund (USF) but that it must be "carefully tailored" for unserved areas and populations, according to a story in Multichannel News.

McSlarrow added that it is especially important that USF broadband subsidies not be applied to areas that already have broadband facilities from cable providers who "have invested risk capital to deploy broadband services" because this "might discourage the existing provider from making continued investments in its network facilities."

Three FCC commissioners will also be on hand to testify at the hearing chaired by Sen. Jay Rockefeller. The Commission has proposed moving the USF from its traditional job of making certain that rural areas receive lifeline telephone services into a wider broadband arena as part of its wider National Broadband Plan. That plan, including the suggestion that some form of Title II regulation be applied to broadband, has been bitterly contested by cable and other broadband providers.

For more:
- read this story in Multichannel News

Related articles:
FCC: Realigning USF will put broadband into small business' hands
FCC's broadband plan calls for higher broadband speeds, USF reform

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