Lawmakers urge FCC to improve Internet access in schools, libraries

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"To better serve these institutions, the FCC should recognize the unique needs of these institutions and should consider ways to require broadband providers that receive USF support to build-out broadband networks in rural areas to deploy high-capacity broadband to anchor institutions," the lawmakers wrote. "This will ensure anchor institutions have the high-speed Internet access they need to enrich their communities and stimulate economic growth across the nation."

The Universal Service Fund, an $8 billion program paid for by fees on consumer phone bills, was originally designed to subsidize landline phone access. Genachowski plans to transition the fund to pay for expanding high-speed Internet access.

The FCC is scheduled to vote on Genachowski's plan at its next meeting, on Oct. 27.

In a speech earlier this month, Genachowski called the current system "outdated," "wasteful" and "unfair." He said using the fund to expand broadband access would improve economic opportunity and help the United States stay competitive.