An anonymous reader writes "FCC chairman Julius Genachowski revealed plans yesterday to overhaul the U.S. phone subsidy program and shift its focus to providing broadband access. He said, 'Broadband has gone from being a luxury to a necessity for full participation in our economy and society. If we want the United States to be the world's leading market, we need to embrace the essential goal of universal broadband, and reform outdated programs.' According to BusinessWeek, the program currently 'supports phone service to schools, libraries, the poor and high-cost areas.' Last year it spent $4.3 billion to provide support to over 1,700 carriers in high-cost areas. Genachowski hopes the change will put the U.S. 'on the path to universal broadband service by the end of the decade.'"