from the questions,-questions,-questions dept
The Universal Service Fund (USF) is a huge boondoggle for telcos, who keep getting more and more money out of it, with almost no oversight into what's done with that money. And, the way it's set up, it actually blocks more innovative (and cheaper!) services from being used to improve connectivity in rural areas. It's good to see others are beginning to notice this. News.com is running an article from Gregory L. Rosston at Stanford who points out that the USF rewards companies for being the least efficient providers. That is, by showing how much more it costs the telcos to provide for rural users, the FCC grants them even more money. In other words, the less efficient they are, the more money they get. Not exactly the type of incentives the FCC should be setting up -- but given FCC chair Kevin Martin's super chummy relationship with the telcos, perhaps it's no surprise.