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Subject: [IP] more on Von Mag: Funding USF through Broadband

  • From: David Farber <>
  • To: Ip ip <>
  • Date: Thu, 07 Jul 2005 06:40:03 -0400

Begin forwarded message:

From: Bob Frankston <>
Date: July 6, 2005 11:05:35 PM EDT
To:, 'Ip ip' <>
Cc: &quot;'Frank A. Coluccio'&quot; <>, 'Doug Mohney' <>
Subject: RE: [IP] Von Mag: Funding USF through Broadband

I keep comparing these proposals with taxing yellow paint to help corn farmers. It&#x2019;s just a scam to avoid transparent funding.

The growth of wireless ISPs is already ahead of &quot;schedule&quot;. As Ben Campaine has pointed out, &quot;rural&quot; is not the same as &quot;impoverished&quot;. Providing access to those in cities is often more of a problem and it&#x2019;s as much about awareness as cost.

I&#x2019;ve suggested to one highly visible advocate that the rural users who want connectivity should seize their phone wires and repurpose them as high speed data paths by simply putting up cheap DSL regenerators every mile or so &#x2013; a picture of them charging the poles with pitch forks or maybe shotguns would be a wonderful photo-op. It&#x2019;s the robber barons all over again. Why tolerate wasting copper pairs which can support gigabits (when aggregated and regenerated) to be wasted carrying phone calls. It&#x2019;s a DIY problem and the USF only guarantees that everyone is gouged &#x2013; the taxed and those who get the funds that are only allowed to be used to buy overpriced services with low capacity.

I keep thinking of who should be sharing a room with Bernie Ebbers &#x2026;

As I pointed out in my VON column Name=VONConnectivityUtility costs can be reduced by sharing access but that takes understanding and the USF locks myths into legislation and thwarts progress. Why &#x201C;punish&#x201D; broadband users?

If you follow the shared access model the real problem is that we still treating the Internet as if it were television channel with billable services. It&#x2019;s really a utility.

I have to keep emphasizing that this is same municipal cable TV &#x2013; it is just access with anyone allowed to provide services. Early municipal electric companies were formed as light companies but people soon realized they just wanted electricity and not depend on the city for light bulbs.

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of David Farber
Sent: Wednesday, July 06, 2005 10:04
To: Ip ip
Subject: [IP] Von Mag: Funding USF through Broadband

Begin forwarded message:

From: &quot;John K. Friedman&quot; <john@JKFLAW.COM>

Date: July 6, 2005 8:18:05 AM EDT


Subject: Re: Von Mag: Funding USF through Broadband

Reply-To: Telecom Regulation & the Internet <CYBERTELECOM-


This would simply allow those who've opted out of the PSTN -- using

cable modem service, particularly w/ VoIP riding on it -- to be gouged

by the ILECs indirectly.  How's this for a title of the proposed bill:

&quot;The Rural LEC and Qwest Revenue Assurance Act?&quot;

Frank Coluccio wrote:

> Funding USF through Broadband

> 07.04.05 | Doug Mohney



> 2005/07/4_Funding_USF_through_Broadband.htm


> Representatives of Rural America are rallying behind the idea of

> taxing

> broadband customers to support the Universal Service Fund (USF),

> according to a report from A group of 62 Congressmen

> submitted

> a letter to the U.S. House of Energy and Commerce Committee on June

> 28th

> calling for the base of USF contributors to be expanded to everyone

> who

> uses the infrastructure including &quot;all providers of two-way

> communications, regardless of technology used, to insure competitive

> neutrality.&quot;


> Wireless carriers are happy about the proposed change since they feel

> wireless consumers already pay too much into USF and intercarrier

> compensation systems. Free market think tanks are skeptical about more

> funding for USF, claiming that broadband access is getting cheaper and

> more widely available, but rural and economically disadvantaged

> municipalities can successfully argue that ILECs have failed to

> provide

> affordable and timely access to broadband services.


> Rural legislators have always had a soft spot for USF regardless of

> party affiliation and the June 28th letter wasn't the first and

> won't be

> the last time that they continue to lobby for clear and unambiguous

> support of telecommunications subsidies to underserved areas of the

> country.


> ------


> Frank








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