FCC working on capping funding for the rural and the poor

According to a report, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has voted to take initial steps to cap spending on the FCC’s Universal Service Fund (USF), which serve as an avenue for broadband deployment to poor and rural people and other underserved areas. The vote is claimed to have caused pushback from state and local education technology groups, who see this move as having a tendency to widen the digital divide gap.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s plan is to set a combined cap of US$11.4 billion on the four programmes that make up the USF.  Pai’s reasoning behind the cap, according to the report, is to ‘strike the appropriate balance between ensuring adequate funding for the Universal Service programs while minimizing the financial burden on ratepayers and providing predictability for programme participants’.