NTCA Cites State Regulators’ Support for Suspension of USF Caps and Careful Consideration of Any Further Reforms in Letter to Congress

 

Contact:  Laura Withers, 703-351-2086, lwithers@ntca.org
                Wendy Mann, 703-351-2087, wmann@ntca.org

National board of regulatory commissioners votes unanimously to urge FCC to suspend troublesome caps until concerns are addressed

WASHINGTON (August 13, 2012) – In a letter to Members of Congress today, the head of the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association cited the unanimous backing of state regulators to suspend the FCC’s new caps on Universal Service Fund (USF) support for small, independent telecommunications providers and asked lawmakers to help steer the commission’s USF reforms back on the right track.

The resolution, unanimously passed July 25 by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) Board of Directors, urges the FCC to suspend implementation of the regression analysis-based capping model “until questions about its impact and appropriateness are resolved in collaboration with state commissions.” It also asks the commission to refer any further reforms to the USF and intercarrier compensation cost recovery systems to the Federal–State Joint Board on Universal Service, which is made up of FCC commissioners, state regulatory utility commissioners and consumer advocate representatives.

“To put the significance of [the NARUC] resolution in context, it is important to emphasize that it was unanimous in expressing concerns about the impacts of the FCC’s changes on rural consumers and businesses even though NARUC itself is an extremely diverse body,” NTCA Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield stated in the letter.

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The National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA) is the premier association representing more than 570 locally owned and controlled telecommunications cooperatives and commercial companies throughout rural and small-town America. NTCA provides its members with legislative, regulatory and industry representation; meetings; publications; educational programs; and an array of employee benefit programs. Visit us at www.ntca.org.