Universal Service Reform-Bringing Broadband to All Americans

October 12, 2011

253 Russell Senate Office Building

Feature Image 5WASHINGTON, D.C.—Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV today announced a full committee hearing on reforming the Universal Service Fund.  This hearing will provide a forum for discussing efforts to reform the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) universal service policy, in particular the high-cost universal service system.   

“Traditionally, this program has provided support for voice telephony in rural and high-cost areas of the country—making it possible for consumers across the U.S. to have comparable services at comparable rates,” Chairman Rockefeller said.  “But going forward, it is important to refocus this policy on the communications challenges of the current digital age, including broadband and wireless services. 

“Chairman Genachowski has taken an important step forward today in bringing broadband—both wired and wireless—to all Americans.  I strongly support and applaud his efforts and look forward to working with him and his fellow Commissioners to reform the universal service system.  Next week, the Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on the need to move forward on these important proposals.  We have a real opportunity to close the digital divide in rural America if we get this right.  The time to act is now.”

Please note the hearing will also be webcast live via the Senate Commerce Committee website at http://commerce.senate.gov. Refresh the Commerce Committee homepage 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start time to view the webcast.

Individuals with disabilities who require an auxiliary aid or service, including closed captioning service for webcast hearings, should contact Collenne Wider at 202-224-5511 at least three business days in advance of the hearing date.


Majority Statement

  • Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV

    U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

Witness Panel 1