FCC Set to Unveil Rules for Rural Broadband Fund

October 26, 2011 - 2:20 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — Federal regulators are set to reveal their plan Thursday for an overhaul of the $8 billion fund that subsidizes phone service in rural areas and for the poor, with the goal of redirecting the money toward broadband expansion.

The Federal Communications Commission is also preparing to disclose new rules for the byzantine system that governs how phone companies pay each other for phone calls. It's a system that, virtually everyone in the industry agrees, is outdated and leads to perverse schemes by carriers to stimulate certain kinds of phone traffic.

Together, the new rules are set to be the Obama administration's most significant overhaul of telecommunications regulations. The five-member commission will vote on the rules at a meeting Thursday morning.