Thursday, December 18, 2008

The problems with the Universal Service Fund (USF)

Be for I begin a rant about the USF program and how it is just another tax let me say that it has help us and many school to get internet to the district. Now for why I think the program should be dismantled and start over at square one.

1. The USF was first started in the 1934 to help provide phone service were phone service was not cost effective for the phone companies. It allowed equal access to all citizen rural and city. So when Snowy and Rockefeller came up with legislation to allow school to reduce cost of phone, internet and server equipment. They were to give a higher priority to rural schools and oh by the way let’s include those poor schools that have high free and reduced rates. Well this sounds good till you look at the statistics and a majority of priority two money ends up in the in city school, why would this be as rural school were to be the priority not the city schools. Well were are the free and reduced rates the highest, it is the inner city school in the rural Thumb of Michigan the highest school is in the 70% on the USF matrix. Were inner city Saginaw schools are 90% reduced rates schools. Well then we will implement a three in five year rule so that everyone will have a chance at the priority two money, right? Yes this will fix the problem well it is five years into that and guess what we still don’t see any priority two money even at 67%. SHOW ME THE MONEY.

2. Why do we get money for phone service? How many of you had phone service before USF program started 12 years ago. We did and we still have the same service that we had then. In fact this has not in my estimation helped us free more money up to help wire or get technology in are school system. So stop paying for phone service and place this money to a better use. Such as allow us to buy fiber plants between the school system so we can consolidate services increase the access of internet and cut the phone companies out of there monopoly dictatorship.

3. Why do we have to fill out so many forms for priority one service as the internet and phone service? Reduce the form filling for priority one services as Internet and if they decided to keep phone service against my just recommendation as seen in number two.

So stop the insanity either give the tax payers a break and get rid of this USF Fee on are phone bills. How does that saying go as it relates to the USF Fee? If it walks like a duck, quaks like a duck then it must be a Tax, Oh ya I mean a duck.

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I am the Director of Technology at a K-12 School system.