FCC releases order to overhaul telephone subsidy

ADVERTISEMENT
The program is funded through monthly charges on consumer phone bills.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski outlined the plan in a speech two weeks before the vote, and the agency released details of the overhaul after the commission approved the changes. But the actual language of the order was only released on Friday. 

Not counting statements by the commissioners, the order is 740 pages long.

Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee's subpanel on Communications and Technology, criticized the FCC at a hearing last week for not being more transparent about how it handled the restructuring of the Universal Service Fund. He has sponsored a bill that would overhaul how the FCC operates, but Democratic critics of the legislation say it is really an attempt to hamstring the regulatory agency.