FCC Proposes Rules to Remove Bad Actors from Federally-Funded Programs

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) has proposed new rules to protect federal funds from misuse. The rules provide the Commission with more flexible authority to promptly remove bad actors from participation in the Universal Service Fund (USF), the Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) Fund, and the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program. This rulemaking would align the FCC rules with the Office of Management and Budget’s Guidelines to Agencies on Government Debarment and Suspension. Specifically, the new rules allow the FCC to consider a broader range of misconduct and to immediately suspend entities when necessary to protect the public interest. The Commission hopes these measures can assist in bridging the digital divide by ensuring that expenditures are directed to good actors who will use them only for their intended purpose.

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