US Supreme Court Upholds $8 Billion Telecom Fund

US Supreme Court Upholds $8 Billion Telecom Fund

Adriana Silva
1 min read

US Supreme Court Upholds $8 Billion Telecom Subsidy, Critics Allege Excessive Power

The US Supreme Court has unanimously upheld the $8 billion Universal Service Fund (USF) that subsidizes telecom services for low-income and rural residents. This program, financed by a charge on monthly phone bills, supports over 8 million people. Despite appeals questioning its legality, the Court's decision maintains the fund, a vital lifeline for people in remote areas.

Key Takeaways

  • US Supreme Court affirms $8 billion annual subsidy for telecom services in rural and low-income areas.
  • Universal Service Fund, backed by monthly phone bill charges, supports over 8 million individuals.
  • Critics argue the program grants excessive power to the FCC and a private entity.
  • Biden administration defends the program, citing a 1996 law guiding FCC discretion.
  • Broadband industry supports the subsidies, emphasizing investments in hard-to-reach areas.


The Court's decision reinforces federal backing for telecom services in underserved areas, benefiting telecom companies and stabilizing funding. Critics face setbacks but may trigger broader government involvement in telecom infrastructure in the long run. The unresolved legal debate over delegation of congressional powers to agencies could resurface in future reviews.

Did You Know?

  • Universal Service Fund (USF): Established by the FCC to ensure universal access to telecommunications, particularly in low-income and rural areas.
  • Non-delegation Doctrine: A constitutional principle limiting Congress' delegation of law-making powers to executive agencies.
  • Consumers’ Research: A conservative organization advocating transparency and accountability, criticizes perceived excessive delegation of powers in the USF.

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