While net neutrality and the classification of broadband internet access services tend to be the most high-profile issues when it comes to federal telecommunications regulation, FCC enthusiasts may be interested in another significant development at the agency, related to its policy regarding broadband subsidies.  Chairman Ajit Pai recently circulated a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to establish an overall budget on the Universal Service Fund (USF), the FCC’s broadband subsidy mechanism funded through ever-increasing regressive surcharges on consumers’ telephone bills, which has been notorious for waste, fraud, and abuse.  Commissioner Michael O’Rielly, the architect of the proposal, recently blogged about the need for a budget to better promote fiscal discipline and consumer protection in the program: