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Moving Forward: Opportunities For States to Expand Access to Affordable Telecommunications
Fabiola Carrion on November 11, 2010 - 12:21pm
Access to affordable communication services is a critical issue for low-income and rural communities. Progressive state legislators have an opportunity to level the playing field when it comes to telecommunications - and it even comes with a revenue stream attached to it. Last Friday, the Federal Communications Commission issued an order requiring Internet phone providers (formally referred to as Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP) to add their share to the pot in states’ Universal Service Funds. VoIP transmits voice communication over a broadband Internet connection, and can be either nomadic or fixed (it is nomadic when a customer can use a telephone service by connecting to the Internet wherever a broadband connection is available; in contrast, a fixed VoIP service originates from a fixed geographic location). Now, nomadic VoIP providers like Skype and Vonage will have to contribute to the fund just like their landline phone competitors do in order to support critical state universal service programs.
Progressive States Network – Broadband and Technology Investments: Policy Options for 2011