The Federal Universal Service Fund is established by the Federal Communications Commission to promote the availability of quality telecommunications services at just, reasonable and affordable rates for all consumers, including those in low income, rural insular and high cost areas.
Universal Service Fund programs:
- High Cost Program
- Low Income Program (Lifeline and Link Up Support)
- Schools and Libraries Program (E-Rate)
- Rural Health Care Program
The UTC has the legal authority to designate qualified common carriers as Eligible Telecommunications Carriers (ETCs) in Washington for the purpose of receiving federal high cost support and low income support. All the wireline incumbent local exchange carriers are ETCs. In addition, UTC has also designated the following wireless ETCs.
Wireless ETCs eligible for both high-cost support and low-income support:
- AT&T Mobility (f/k/a Cingular; AT&T Wireless Service, Inc.)
- U.S. Cellular Corporation (a/k/a U.S.C.C.)
- Inland Cellular (f/k/a Eastern Sub-RSA Limited Partnership)
- Inland Cellular (f/k/a Washington RSA No.8 Limited Partnership)
Wireless ETCs eligible for low-income support only:
- Air Voice Wireless, LLC dba "AirTalk Wireless"
- Assurance Wireless USA, L.P. (f/k/a "Virgin Mobile")
- Boomerang Wireless LLC dba "enTouch Wireless"
- Global Connection Inc. of America dba "StandUp Wireless"
- i-wireless, LLC dba "Access Wireless"
- Q Link Wireless LLC dba "Q Link Wireless"
- Sage Telecom Communications, LLC dba "TruConnect"
- Telrite Corporation dba "Life Wireless"
- TracFone Wireless, Inc. dba "SafeLink Wireless"
- YourTel America, Inc. dba "TerraCom"