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Articles for “Federal Universal Service Fund”

The FCC's Universal Service Fund (USF) was created by the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to fund programs designed to provide universal telecommunications access to all U.S. citizens. All telecommunications providers are required to contribute a percentage of their end-user revenues to the Fund, which the FCC allocates for four core programs: 1. Connect America Fund, which subsidizes telecom providers for the increased costs of offering services to customers in rural and remote areas 2. Lifeline, which directly subsidizes low-income households to help pay for the cost of phone and internet service 3. Rural Health Care, which subsidizes health care providers to offer broadband telehealth services that can connect rural patients and providers with specialists located farther away 4. E-Rate, which subsidizes rural and low-income schools and libraries for internet and telecommunications costs The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) administers the USF on behalf of the FCC, but requires Congressional approval for its actions. Many states also operate their own universal service funds, which operate independently from the federal program.

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