There is one summary for this bill. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (07/22/2010)

Universal Service Reform Act of 2010 - Amends the Communications Act of 1934 regarding the review of universal service requirements to require: (1) the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service to complete recommendations for changes within 9 months after the date of enactment of this Act; and (2) the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to complete consideration of such recommendations within 18 months after the date of enactment of this Act.

Includes high-speed broadband services within universal service.

Revises universal service principles.

Sets forth methodology provisions for assessing contributions to universal service support mechanisms from communications service providers.

Provides support contribution limits.

Directs the FCC to develop: (1) a new cost model for the provision of high-cost support to eligible communications service providers for universal service in rural, insular, and high cost areas; and (2) a mechanism for reducing or eliminating the high-cost support provided to an incumbent local exchange carrier in the competitive portions of such carrier's service areas.

Prohibits the FCC from reducing high-cost support to tribal lands absent a finding that such reductions are in the public interest.

Revises the eligibility criteria communications service providers must meet in order to receive universal service support. Authorizes the FCC to waive minimum data rate requirements under specified circumstances.

States that a recipient of universal service support in any service area prior to the date of enactment of this Act that relinquishes its eligible telecommunications carrier or eligible communications service provider designation shall continue to offer and receive support for providing life-line and link-up service throughout its service area unless another provider is so designated.

Directs the FCC to establish the amount of high-cost support to be distributed to all mobile wireless communications service providers designated as eligible communications service providers through a competitive bidding process.

Eliminates specified limitations on universal service support and the individual caps imposed upon carriers.

Prohibits the FCC from limiting the distribution and use of high-cost support to a single connection or primary line.

Authorizes a state to adopt regulations not inconsistent with FCC rules to preserve and advance universal service.

Directs the FCC to: (1) adopt a minimum data rate requirement for high-speed broadband service; (2) establish outcome-oriented performance goals for each universal service support program; (3) establish audit methodology for recipients of universal service support; and (4) submit specified reports to Congress.

Grants the FCC authority to reform intercarrier compensation systems for both interstate and intrastate traffic.

Requires communications service providers to ensure that all traffic contains or preserves sufficient information to allow traffic identification by other communications service providers that transport or terminate the traffic.

Prohibits access charge recovery when an entity that has a business, financial, or contractual relationship with a local exchange carrier relating to switched access revenues from such services offers a free or below cost service.

Directs the FCC to require a communications service provider to provide covered services for the provision of health care services to any rural public or not-for-profit health care provider at rates that are reasonably comparable to rates charged for similar services in the state's urban areas.