TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: FCC Head Urges Congress to Free Up E-Rate Funds

FCC Head Urges Congress to Free Up E-Rate Funds

Lisa Minter (
Tue, 7 Dec 2004 12:21:55 EST

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell urged
Congress to approve legislation easing accounting rules that forced
the agency to freeze funds from the so-called E-Rate program earlier
this year.

"I hope that Congress is able to pass this legislation before
adjourning," Powell said in a statement.

The E-rate program, administered by the Universal Service
Administrative Co. (USAC), is used to subsidize Internet and other
communications in schools, as well as rural health care programs.

It is funded by companies that offer long-distance telephone service,
like AT&T Corp. and Verizon Communications which typically pass on
those charges to customers.

Without the accounting changes, Powell said, the agency could be
forced to seek more money from carriers to raise fees for the program.

In August the USAC was forced to freeze hundreds of millions of
dollars in funds for the E-rate program in order to comply with
accounting standards that govern the program.

Lawmakers in Congress have agreed to temporary changes in the
accounting rules as part of a package of telecommunications laws that
passed the House, but it's hung up in the Senate.

Although popular, the E-Rate program has also been dogged by
allegations of waste, fraud and abuse, prompting investigations by
federal prosecutors, the FCC and Congress.

[NOTE: For more telecom/internet/networking/computer news from the
daily media, check out our feature 'Telecom Digest Extra' each day at . New articles daily.]

*** FAIR USE NOTICE. This message contains copyrighted material the
use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright
owner. This Internet discussion group is making it available without
profit to group members who have expressed a prior interest in
receiving the included information in their efforts to advance the
understanding of literary, educational, political, and economic
issues, for non-profit research and educational purposes only. I
believe that this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material
as provided for in section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Law. If you wish
to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go
beyond 'fair use,' you must obtain permission from the copyright
owner, in this instance Reuters News Service.

For more information go to:

Post Followup Article Use your browser's quoting feature to quote article into reply
Go to Next message: Lisa Minter: "Experts Push for More Computer Security Efforts"
Go to Previous message: Danny Chan: "NMS vs. Aculab"
TELECOM Digest: Home Page