FCC rural Internet subsidization given go-ahead

The FCC has been given the go-ahead on a plan to switch over its telephone subsidy program for rural areas into one that will do the same for broadband Internet service instead, bringing high-speed Internet to individuals who may have never had.

Connect America is a $4.5 billion program that has been used to bring telephone service to low-income individuals, rural schools, and other applicable entities and people. In our increasingly connected world, however, the funds are seen as better applied to providing high-speed Internet access.

The initial decision to switch the program's use of the funds was made in late 2011, but was met with lawsuits from many phone companies that were concerned about the financial impact of losing their yearly subsidies.

The issue was taken to Tenth Circuit appeals court in Denver, and the phone companies ultimately lost, with the reasons being "[claims that were" either unpersuasive or barred from judicial review." The FCC, on the other hand, has expressed satisfaction with the ruling.

SOURCE: New York Times