The FCC voted 3-2--as expected, along party lines--to temporarily cap the ever-expanding Universal Service Fund this week. The agency put a temporary hold on the subsidy program that paid out nearly $1.2 billion to cell phone companies.
The USF cap will remain in place until Kevin Martin and his associates can push through a a more comprehensive reform package ... but don't hold your breath on that one. Customers of telcos, meanwhile, aren't likely to rejoice over the decision, but they will see a few dollars coming of their bills. Count on the big telcos to try and milk that for all it's worth with their constituencies. After all, a PR pip is just that.
Congress created the fund in 1996, part of an overhaul of the nation's communications legislation, with an eye toward making sure all American's had equal telecom access.
- Read the Associated Press story