Hudson Institute hosted Commissioner Michael O’Rielly to discuss the capping of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Federal Universal Service Fund (USF). The conversation was moderated by the Director of Hudson’s Center for the Economics of the Internet Harold Furchtgott-Roth.
Initiated under the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the USF was developed to encourage investment in universal telecommunications access. Funded entirely by telecommunications services user fees, the size of the USF has grown in recent years to more than $10 billion annually. This has led some in the FCC, including Commissioner O’Rielly and Chairman Ajit Pai, and members of Congress to propose a budget cap for the fund. Commissioner O’Rielly will discuss the implications of a budget cap on the USF.