The FCC's plan to use fees collected from big telecom companies to expand Internet infrastructure in rural parts of the U.S.
was given a green light yesterday in Denver, by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. Those telecoms maintained that the FCC's mandate did not extend to using the money to pay for Internet service
, but a three-judge panel dismissed their challenge. From The Verge
: "The FCC originally pitched the program as part of the Universal Service Fund in 2011, noting in a report a year earlier that approximately 14 million people did not have access to broadband. The Connect America Fund aimed to use a portion of customer bills in other areas of the country to build out broadband infrastructure, including cellular data networks in those areas. That would begin with $300 million at the start, and up to $500 million as part of an annual budget."