FCC Commissioner Carr Urges Big Tech to Pay Fair Share

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In a Newsweek op-ed, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr has outlined a new approach to fund the Universal Service Fund.  Carr’s op-ed cited the current Universal Service Fund contribution factor as “on the verge of collapse” at 30 percent, and the need for Big Tech to pay its fair share.  Carr also noted a study finding that five companies—Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime, Disney+ and Microsoft—account for 75 percent of all traffic on rural broadband networks, and 77-94 percent of total network costs are related to adding capacity or otherwise supporting the delivery of those streaming services.  Accordingly, Carr proposes that “Congress and the FCC should ensure that Big Tech starts abiding by that precedent and contributing an equitable amount. Doing so would put the federal government’s universal service efforts on stable footing.”

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