Supreme Court to review FCC subsidies


A Story from ZDnet tells us how the US Supreme Court is about to hear an important case on FCC subsidies used to help schools and libraries connect to the internet.the FCC has operated a $2.25 billion annual federal program to subsidize Internet connections for schools, libraries and rural health care facilities. Sounds Nice doesn\'t it?
\"Three challenges
In appealing to the Supreme Court, GTE Corp. challenged the program, arguing that the 1996 law stipulates funding could only be used to subsidize telecommunications services, not wiring and Internet services.

That was the challenge the Supreme Court agreed to hear and decide. Arguments in the case will be heard during the court\'s upcoming term that begins in October.

In a second case, AT&T Corp. questioned the appeals court\'s ruling that the FCC may consider a telecommunication carrier\'s interstate revenues, but not its intrastate revenues, to determine its contribution to the e-rate program.

The FCC agreed with AT&T that the appeals court was wrong in that part of its ruling, but said the question was not significant enough to warrant Supreme Court review.

The Supreme Court agreed, denying that appeal without any comment or dissent.

In a third case involving the law, the high court last week rejected a challenge by paging company Celpage Inc. arguing the law was too vague and, as applied to paging providers, did not follow the constitutional requirements on bills for raising revenues. \"

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