Universal-service definitions

The concept of making affordable basic telephone service available to everyone everywhere within a nation, state, or other governmental jurisdiction.The United States Communications Act of 1934 first established the concept and led to the formation of a fund known as the Universal Service Fund (USF), which was finally codified in the Telecommunications Act of 1996. In some cases, the concept has been widened to include other telecommunications services classified as information services, most especially Internet access.That is the case in the United States, where the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) administers programs that provide support for incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) in high-cost areas, assistance for low-income subscribers, discounts for telecommunications service to schools and libraries, and discounts to rural health care providers. See also Communications Act of 1934, Internet, Telecommunications Act of 1996, USAC, and USF.