Six vendors of broadband connectivity in rural areas have submitted a consensus proposal to the Federal Communications to focus use of the telecommunications Universal Service Fund on broadband deployment.

The proposal would expand broadband accessibility to more than four million Americans, the organizations contend. The goal of the plan is to bring broadband to virtually all Americans within five years without growing the Universal Service Fund, target support in areas where there is no business case for companies to provide service, and promote efficiency by precisely targeting high-cost areas with only one broadband provider in each area.

The companies also proposed several initiatives to reform how telecommunications firms bill one another for handling traffic and fighting fraudulent telecom firms. Vendors agreeing to the proposal include AT&T, CenturyLink, FairPoint, Frontier, Verizon and Windstream.

Trade associations supporting the proposal include the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association, Organization for the Promotion and Advancement of Small Telecommunications Companies, and Western Telecommunications Alliance.


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