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FCC Ready to Begin Reform of USF Contribution Methodology

As mentioned on January 20th, the FCC is about to start the process of reforming the Universal Service Fund (USF) Contribution methodology in WC Docket No. 06-122.  Because colleges and universities might be impacted by changes in the USF “pass through” fees on their telephone and broadband service bills, EDUCAUSE Policy has been tracking this situation carefully.

On April 27, 2012, the FCC is scheduled to vote on a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that will seek comment on proposals to reform and modernize how USF contributions are “assessed and recovered.”  Comments and Reply Comments are expected to be received in June and July, but a final decision is not expected until 2013.

Members of EDUCAUSE Policy are scheduled to meet with FCC staff prior to this vote in order to learn what the reform proposals may be and to work with the FCC staff on improving them.  In addition, we will be working closely with members of our Network Council and other members as necessary in preparing comments to be filed this summer.  Our goal in this proceeding is that the new contribution methodology be easy to understand, accommodate technological progress, and not have a disparate impact on colleges and universities.