OP-ED: Congress May Invest Billions in Broadband. It Should Reform the Universal Service Fund Too

Tech Policy Press – ICLE Director of Law & Economics Programs Gus Hurwitz had a piece published in Tech Policy Press about the need to reform the Federal Communications Commission’s Universal Service Fund, particularly in light of congressional proposals to spend tens of billions to build out broadband infrastructure. You can read the full piece here.

With a compromise infrastructure bill now on the table in the Senate, it is more than just merely possible that Congress will invest $65 billion in broadband over the next eight years. Despite the size of this potential investment, on an annualized basis it is smaller than the existing Federal Communications Commission Universal Service program. The pending infrastructure bill would invest $8.125 billion per year in an effort to close the digital divide, while the FCC’s Universal Service program has spent just under $8.3 billion per year for each of the past three years.