FCC vote may mean $50 billion in economic growth

Thursday - 11/3/2011, 10:56am EDT

Sharon Gillett, chief of the FCC's Wireline Competition Bureau

Download mp3

The Federal Communications Commission made a big change in how it administers a large fund from fees on phone bills.

In a unanimous vote, the FCC chose to reform its Universal Service Fund and intercarrier compensation systems. The FCC estimates expansion of high-speed Internet to rural America will increase economic growth by $50 billion over the next six years.

Sharon Gillett, chief of the FCC's Wireline Competition Bureau, says the change has its roots in a telecommunications reform law from the mid 1990s, specifically, the Universal Service Fund. She talks to the Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Amy Morris about how the changes to the Universal Service Fund will take several years to fully take effect.