QuickLinks - Universal service
QuickLinks - Universal service
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Issue no. 339 - 29 May 2005
EU - Communication on the Review of the Scope of Universal Service
There is no need to introduce new legal requirements for mobile and high-speed internet services under the EU's universal service rules at the moment, says the European Commission in a
. The Communication finds that consumers already have widespread affordable access to mobile communications, so universal service obligations would not benefit the consumer. And so far only a small - although fast-growing - minority has a high-speed (broadband) internet connection, so subjecting broadband to universal service obligations would result in unfair financial transfers between consumers. However, in the future, as services traditionally carried by telephone networks become more and more internet-based, the focus of universal service may evolve towards providing an affordable broadband access link for all. see also
Review of the Scope of Universal Service in Electronic Communications: Frequently Asked Questions
Issue no. 224 - 16 February 2002
USA - FCC Takes Next Step to Reform Universal Service Fund Contribution System
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) took steps toward reform of the system for assessment and recovery of universal service fund (USF) contributions. The FCC adopted a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which seeks comment on whether to assess contributions on carriers based on the number and capacity of connections they provide to customers, rather than on the interstate revenues they earn. see also
ISPs May Be Tapped For Universal Service Fund - GAO
Issue no. 214 - 23 November 2001
EU - Universal Service in the Accession Countries
Study of issues of universal service in telecommunications for 13 countries negotiating accession to the European Union: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey. PDF format:
Issue no. 202 - 5 July 2001
EU mandates Internet in every home
European Union telecoms ministers backed a proposal to bring the Internet to every citizen's house. Under the plan, operators will have to guarantee "functional" Internet access, even in remote geographical areas, which may not guarantee adequate economic returns. But the proposal fell short of calling for a universal provision for fast, broadband Internet access. see also
Universal Service Directive
Issue no. 196 - 15 May 2001
FCC Adopts Universal Service Changes
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) made several changes to the way it tries to insure that rural telephone consumers receive service at affordable rates. The changes are also supposed to help ease the costs for rural and low-income communications consumers who benefit from the universal service fund, which helps rural and low-income consumers receive affordable telephone and Internet access. They also are expected to make it easier for would-be telecom competitors that want to enter the market.
Issue no. 182 - 20 December 2000
UK may subsidise e-networks
The UK government may use public subsidies and tax breaks to fund the construction of high-speed internet networks in rural and deprived areas.
UK - Digital rights and wrongs
Government policy advisors are calling for the creation of a Universal Service Fund (USF) that will be used to help the poor meet the cost of going online.
Issue no. 180 - 3 December 2000
Canada - all change to the subsidy system
Canada's telecoms regulator will overhaul its local phone-service subsidy system so that all phone companies, not just long-distance carriers, make contributions to the subsidy.
Issue no. 129 - 16 October 1999
Recommendation on universal access to Internet services
(Council of Europe)
The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg has adopted Recommendation (99) 14 on universal community service concerning new communications and information services. Member States are recommended to support the establishment of public access points and the provision of universally accessible information and services for the public at large. An
international conference will be held in Malta
on 2-3 November 1999 on this topic, where leading international experts will present examples and strategies for governments and industry.
Issue no. 126 - 8 September 1999
USA - Phone Fee for School Internet Service Too Popular to Overturn
(New York Times)
The new fee on long-distance telephone companies to raise money for Internet connections at schools and libraries, officially called the E-rate, has proved to be so popular that even the harshest critics now agree that further complaints are futile
Issue no. 110 - 3 March 1999
Spain - Government Sees Net as Universal Right
Spain will join France in asking the European Union to consider Internet access a "universal right"--like education and healthcare--thus allowing financed access at an "accessible price."
Issue no. 52 - 3 March 1998
EU - Commission publishes Monitoring Report on Universal Service in the Telecommunications Sector
This Communication is the first monitoring report on universal service in the telecommunications sector and coincides with the launch of full telecommunications liberalisation across the EU. The report confirms the ongoing gradual improvement in service levels, price and quality in the sector and a gradual strengthening of consumer rights. At this early stage in the development of full telecommunications liberalisation across the European Union, the Commission sees no need to redefine the legislation underpinning universal service.
Issue no. 41 - 28 January 1998
USA - AOL: Hands off ISPs
America Online today urged the Federal Communications Commission to maintain a hands-off regulatory approach when it comes to Net service providers. AOL filed the comments in response to the FCC's pending report to Congress about universal service. As previously reported, the FCC has been mandated to review its implementation of the federal program, which traditionally subsidized phone service for rural and low-income residents but was revised last year to include up to $2.25 billion in annual funding for hooking public schools and libraries up to the Net.
Links to news items about legal and regulatory aspects of Internet and the information society, particularly those relating to information content, and market and technology.
QuickLinks consists of
a free newsletter appearing approximately once a week. The newsletter is distributed by electronic mail through an "announcement only" mailing list.
a Web site with frequent updates, an events page, news items organised by category as well as chronologically by issue and full text search.
QuickLinks is edited by Richard Swetenham
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