Categorized Under: Community Development
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is reforming the Universal Service Fund (USF) fund as a major part of the National Broadband Plan. Broadband is driving rapid changes in the USF’s High Cost fund, which supports traditional telecommunications services. Commercial providers should understand this topic to help them weigh the pros and cons of each approach and evolve existing business strategies as necessary. State regulators should research this issue in order to ensure that they understand the potential costs and benefits of a High Cost subsidy support mechanism versus a reverse auction USF support methodology.
In this article, Michael Spead, a Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) Senior Manager of the High Cost Fund and currently ICF’s Senior Technical Specialist on USF issues, highlights how a reverse auction structure, proposed by both the FCC and the large carriers, could provide the benefit of allowing commercial providers to focus on their core competency, deploying cost-efficient broadband networks in a technology neutral fashion.
Senior Technical SpecialistICF International
Michael Spead, former senior program manager at the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), has more than 10 years of experience in broadband/telecommunications program and project management, policy analysis and regulatory compliance, business process engineering, and financial analysis. Mr. Spead leverages his understanding of the broadband/telecommunications ecosystem to develop successful programs and projects to support state, local, and commercial entities, and he monitors changes in broadband/telecommunications policy to provide technical advisory services for clients. At USAC, Mr. Spead also served as an ambassador for a nationwide outreach initiative with telecommunications firms to build relationships, train industry leaders, and address issues relating to the Universal Service Fund (USF).
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