Today’s Regulatory Mix: Broadband Data Task Force Announces August Webinar, FAIR Act Would Explore Big Tech USF Contributions
Broadband Data Task Force Announces August Webinar
The FCC’s Broadband Data Task Force (Task Force) announced it will host a virtual webinar on Thursday, August 12, 2021, starting at 2:00 p.m. EDT. The webinar will provide information about the proposed technical requirements for the mobile challenge, verification, and crowdsourcing processes required under the Broadband DATA Act. The webinar will be streamed live at www.fcc.gov/live. During the webinar, staff will be available to answer participant questions.
FAIR Act Would Explore Big Tech USF Contributions
U.S. Senators. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V), and Todd Young, (R-Ind.), introduced the Funding Affordable Internet with Reliable (FAIR) Contributions Act. The legislation would direct the FCC to conduct a study into the feasibility of collecting Universal Service Fund (USF) contributions from internet edge providers such as YouTube, Netflix, and Google. Through the USF, the FCC disburses approximately $10 billion per year to fund broadband deployment to high-cost rural areas, schools and libraries, rural health care facilities, telehealth services, and broadband subsidies for low-income Americans. The USF collects money from telecommunications carriers, set at a percentage of their interstate and international revenues, which carriers usually pass onto consumers in their monthly bills. “More consumers are moving to internet-based services,” Senator Wicker said. “This raises concerns about the sustainability of fees collected from consumers’ telephone bills, which support broadband deployment in underserved areas. As online platforms continue to dominate the internet landscape, we should consider the feasibility of Big Tech contributing to the USF to ensure rural areas are not left behind as we work to close the digital divide.”
The Regulatory Mix, Inteserra’s blog of telecom related regulatory activities, is a snapshot of PUC, FCC, legislative, and occasionally court issues that our regulatory monitoring team uncovers each day. Depending on their significance, some items may be the subject of an Inteserra Briefing.