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posted by janrinok on Saturday October 24 2015, @06:07PM   Printer-friendly
from the fine-them dept.

Internet service providers who accept government funding in exchange for providing Internet access in rural areas were "reminded" this week that they're not allowed to use the money for food, alcohol, entertainment, personal travel, and other expenses unrelated to providing Internet access.

The Federal Communications Commission issued a public notice with a "non-exhaustive list of expenditures" that cannot be reimbursed. The list includes all of the above as well as political contributions, charitable donations, scholarships, payment of penalties and fines, club membership fees, sponsorships of conferences and community events, gifts to employees, and personal expenses of employees and family members "including but not limited to personal expenses for housing, such as rent or mortgages."

The ban on using subsidies for food includes but is "not limited to meals to celebrate personal events, such as weddings, births, or retirements," the FCC said.

This money comes from the Universal Service Fund (USF), which is paid for by Americans through fees imposed on phone bills.

Commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Michael O'Rielly wrote that while "the vast number of providers" would not take advantage of the system, "there are unfortunate examples to the contrary and spending on outrageous items has occurred."


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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by CirclesInSand on Sunday October 25 2015, @02:48AM

    by CirclesInSand (2899) on Sunday October 25 2015, @02:48AM (#254207)

    The key word here is Fungible [wikipedia.org].

    Hey guys, remember all those hookers and vacations we've been buying with our money collected from the monopoly on public infrastructure? Well, we just got a check from Uncle Sam to improve that infrastructure. Don't worry, we're not reducing the amount of cocaine or bonuses. Just remember not to bill the Uncle Sam account. Bill the public exploitation account.

    And don't forget, if anyone complains, blame capitalism. Because if the public catches on that public infrastructure isn't a free market, they might actually expect some public oversight and public management of spending. Can't be having that.

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