20 October 2006

Universal service

The conversation around universal service pops up from time to time in policymaking arenas. Here is an op-ed that may get some of you fired up on this subject!

Is there still a good rationale for a "universal service" program in the US? If so, which elements of the program should be funded? How should the money be distributed? Should it be funded out of a sector-specific tax or out of general tax revenues?

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1 comment:

Pat said...

I think the USF is still a good rationale for providing telecommunications services to underserved areas. These services include phone, voice, data, video, any kind of information flows, or even the smell!. As said, they should be rethought from the ground up. One set of telecommunications customers may complain if they have to subsidize the others.

Can we propose it likes sales tax and use tax? But rather than varying city by city, it may be calculated upon the products’ prices. It must be ensured that the free market of telecommunications is really free (as in freedom) and accessible to everyone; hence, the fund should still be distributed to hard-to-establish areas and public communities such as schools and libraries.