INCOMPAS Files USF Reply Comments with FCC On How to Save the USF
WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 17, 2022) – INCOMPAS, the internet and competitive networks association – who represents leading streaming services, tech innovators and new network builders – filed reply comments today with the Federal Communications Commission in its Future of Universal Service Fund proceeding.
INCOMPAS has been the leading voice for FCC action to save the USF program from impending collapse. Both in its initial comments, and in the USForward report, INCOMPAS calls for immediate FCC action to provide a better, long-term future for USF, so the program can continue to offer low-cost internet options to schools, rural communities and high-risk families in need.
“Delay is not an option, and the FCC has the power, authority and responsibility to save the Universal Service Fund from collapse so that millions of rural and urban communities have access to low-cost affordable internet connectivity,” said Angie Kronenberg, chief advocate and general counsel for INCOMPAS. “Our FCC reply comments uncover flaws in arguments designed to delay reform and distract policy makers from the obvious and easiest USF solution, which would be to evolve the program to include broadband internet access service.”
The INCOMPAS reply comments specifically address and debunk claims by large ISPs that online companies and edge providers should be taxed to pay for work and services that broadband internet access service providers benefit and profit from. Specifically, INCOMPAS addresses false claims in the record related to edge providers’ role in the internet ecosystem, pointing out: (1) edge providers are making massive investments into network infrastructure and bridging the digital divide, (2) failure to deploy faster networks, not traffic, is the cause of problems which Congress has allocated tens of billions of dollars to address, (3) broadband internet access service providers’ revenues are growing as a result of increased demand from consumers for online content, and 4) consumers and small businesses benefit from low-cost easy to use tech and edge innovations.