Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) was a great resource for libraries to better connect to the world of information when that telephone service provided the most efficient method of communication. Obviously, the world has migrated to different, additional methods to communicate. The Universal Service Fund successfully provided incentives to get rural communities connected to the telephone network, subsidizing costs for schools and libraries (among other groups) and thereby increasing return on investment for telecommunication providers to build out networks. Now, rural communities are faced with a similar problem in that Internet Service Providers may not be incentivized to build out those networks to rural communities. As telecommunications costs have decreased, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) has shifted funding priorities away from these costs. The result is more funding available, and more schools and libraries qualifying for infrastructure funding assistance.
POTS funding is being phased out. Libraries can apply for additional internet infrastructure funds.