Advanced Universal Service Research Paper by pub3920

Advanced Universal Service
Explores the need for universal service based on skills needed to compete in the Information Age and identifies key areas that public telecommunications policies should address in defining universal service for the future.
# 61431 | 16,665 words | 50 sources | APA | 2005 | US

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This paper seeks to address whether access to relatively new telecommunications technologies such as the Internet and broadband should be covered by a redefinition of universal service-advanced universal service. This paper examines the concept of universal service from a historical perspective to evaluate its current regulatory status. It examines the needs and barriers to implementing advanced universal service, explains broadband technologies, looks at initiatives to help narrow the digital divide, explores policy objectives and finally makes recommendations for policy makers for basic and advanced universal service. This paper finds that universal service policies should continue to ensure access to basic Internet and that policy makers should continue to closely monitor the deployment of advanced telecommunications technologies to ensure equitable access by all citizens. It does not, however, recommend that advanced universal service be deployed at this time.

Table of Contents
History of Universal Service
Initial Executive, Legislative, and Regulatory Environment in 1934
Deregulation and Universal Service Fund in 1996
Bill Introduction
Conference Committee
Passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996
Section 254: Revision of Universal Service
Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service
Public Interest Advocates
Section 706: Advanced Telecommunications Incentives
Need for Universal Service
Information Age
Economic Benefits
Digital Divide
21st Century Job Skills
Access as a Right
Broadband Technology Descriptions
Cable TV Networks
Digital Subscribe Line: xDSL
Fiber Access Networks: FTTx
Wireless Access Networks
Internet Access
Video on Demand
Near Video on Demand
Digital Television
Barriers to Advanced Universal Service
Opposing Arguments
Executive, Legislative and Regulatory Climates
Monopoly vs Competitive Environment
Emerging Policy Arenas
Current Initiatives
Next Generation Internet
The President's National Information Infrastructure Advisory Council
Department of Education
Department of Commerce
National Science Foundation
Department of Agriculture
Universal Service Administrative Corporation
Department of Housing and Urban Development
OpenNET Coalition
Presidential Advisory Committee
The Benton Foundation
Family Technology Resource Centers
Policy Objectives
Positive Outcomes
Negative Outcomes
Option A
Option B
Option C

From the Paper:

"Section 254 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 not only reaffirms the central importance of universal service in telecommunications, but it has vastly expanded the concept. The FCC is charged with assuring that all rates for universal service are just, reasonable, and affordable, not just the rates for interstate service. The word "affordable" had not been used before this legislation, but the 1996 Act introduces the concept of affordability directly and explicitly into national policy. The 1996 Act expands the services to which the universal service concept applies and institutes a formal process for expanding the definition of universal service over time. Although access to the network for high-cost areas and low-income consumers has been supported for years, the 1996 Act explicitly requires this policy and requires that it be implemented with specific and predictable mechanisms, in the form of contributions from all providers of telecommunications services to support universal service. A whole new range of institutions has been identified as having a role in universal service policy."

Cite this Research Paper:

APA Format

Advanced Universal Service (2005, October 07) Retrieved March 24, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Advanced Universal Service" 07 October 2005. Web. 24 March. 2023. <>