Federal Communications Chairman Julius Genachowski set the stage Monday for Tuesday's vote on a plan to revamp subsidies designed to provide telephone services to rural areas.
Speaking at an event sponsored by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, Genachowski said the current universal service fee system is outmoded, prone to fraud and a waste of money.
"In the 21st century, high-speed Internet, not telephone, is our essential communications platform, and Americans are using wired and wireless networks to access it," Genachowski said. "But while the world has changed around it, USF - in too many ways - has stood still, and even moved backwards. The program is still designed to support traditional telephone service. It's a 20th century program poorly suited for the challenges of a 21st century world."
At Tuesday's commission meeting, the FCC will consider a plan to revise the system and reroute funds to help build broadband infrastructure.