Ch 18 Universal Service And Access Chage Reform Under The 1996 Act

• Universal Service Reform
o 1996 Act set in motion a process that began to transform the scope of the universal service system
o Universal service includes: voice grade access to the public switched network, with the ability to place and receive calls; touch-tone signaling; single party service; access to emergency services; access to operator services; access to interexchange services, access to directory assistance
o Joint Board recommended universal service changes (eg: discounted Internet access for schools)
o States are free to set their own guidelines
o Aid for low income customers
o Forward-looking economic costs and competition
o Support for health care providers

• Access Charge Reform
o Some subsidies due can prevent incumbent LECs from recovering access costs
o Implicit and explicit subsidies generates inefficient and undesirable economic behavior
o 1996 Act removes barriers to entry, generating comptetive pressures that make it difficult to maintain access charges above economic costs
o Universal Service Order establishes “explicit and sufficient” support mechanisms to assist high-cost areas, low income customers, schools, and health providers

• Universal Service
o Underlying financial support for universal service
o Proposes to limit universal service support to single line per customer

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License