On October 6, the FCC unveiled its Connect America Fund, an overhaul of the Universal Service Fund aimed at expanding broadband access. Last Friday, the commission released its rules on the program, and as Sara Jerome of the National Journal reports, the focus of the release was heavy on jobs messaging:
The Federal Communications Commission says that its plan to bring broadband Internet to the countryside will produce 500,000 jobs over the next six years.
The FCC voted last month to spend billions to subsidize broadband businesses in the countryside. The money is not a new outlay—it previously went to the landline operations at rural phone companies.
The agency released the rules for redirecting the spending to broadband on Friday. The effort will overhaul the so-called “high-cost fund,” which is about $4.5 billion, so that it goes toward broadband instead of telephone. This fund is part the agency’s larger, $8 billion universal service system that also includes communications subsidies to get technology in schools and to provide service for low-income people in cities.
More info on the FCC’s broadband expansion effort is available on their website.