FCC proposes spending cap on Universal Service Fund

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has proposed instituting a cap on Universal Service Fund spending, including Lifeline. The federal Lifeline program provides a modest $9.25/month subsidy to low-income households to help pay for communications services. CWA has long supported the Lifeline program.

Public interest groups immediately voiced opposition.. “The proposal to cap the USF program is just another signal that the Commission’s current leadership has chosen to severely weaken the FCC’s long standing universal service mission,” wrote Public Knowledge.

"It is incredible to me that the commission would consider an item proposing to limit our ability to fund our Universal Service programs, which support broadband buildout and adoption in this country, at the same time that we have before us a broadband deployment report riddled with significant and unresolved allegations of inaccuracies and overstatements," Said FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks.


Ajit Pai wants to cap spending on broadband for poor people and rural areas (Ars Technica, Mar. 29, 2019)

Court blocks Pai’s attack on Tribal Lifeline program (Speed Matters, Feb. 19, 2019)

Public Knowledge Opposes FCC Move to Cap USF, Abandon Universal Service Mission (Public Knowledge, Mar. 28, 2019)

CWA voices support for Lifeline modernization (Speed Matters, Feb. 19, 2016)