The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that it will open up its $300 million Connect America Fund to expand broadband access to 400,000 rural customers. The fund was created last October as part of the Universal Service Fund (USF). The USF was created to help ensure that telecommunication services are equitably provided to schools, health care providers, libraries and others. The current fee, which changes quarterly, is 17.9% of a telecom company’s interstate and end-user revenues. Service providers have 90 days to apply for a portion of the Connect America Fund. They will be required to supplement their allotment as necessary to build out their service.