New House Proposal Would Expand Participation in the USF to Smaller ProvidersThe following statement may be attributed to Christina Mason, VP of Government Affairs for WISPA:
Washington, DC, June 11, 2020 – The "Expanding Opportunities for Broadband Deployment Act," introduced by Representative G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), broadens the definition of Universal Service Fund (USF) supported services to include broadband-only providers; eliminates the requirement that only officially designated eligible telecommunications carriers be able to receive USF dollars; and streamlines showings of financial viability and fitness in order to receive USF support.
As billed, these key changes will greatly expand opportunities for small rural and urban broadband providers, making it easier for them to apply for USF subsidies when the opportunity arises. Not only will this expand participation in the USF program to smaller, nimbler and able providers, it will mean more and faster deployment of broadband to areas most in need, shrinking the digital divide.
We thank Representative Butterfield for his leadership on this issue and his work to get all Americans online no matter where they live.
WISPA’s approximately 900 members are composed of fixed Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) and the industry that supports fixed wireless broadband, including equipment suppliers, support services, and other components needed to run a successful business. Our members, and WISPs, in general, provide broadband access to over 6 million residential and business customers, often in exclusively rural areas.