NTCA Applauds Senators for Raising Important Questions About FCC Universal Service and Intercarrier Compensation Reforms
For Immediate Release
Arlington, Va. (May 16, 2012) – The National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA) today issued the following statement from Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield regarding today’s Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing on oversight of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
“NTCA appreciates the interest of so many senators on the committee in examining the consequences of recent and ongoing changes to Universal Service Fund (USF) and intercarrier compensation (ICC) cost recovery mechanisms. The fact that these senators chose to devote time in today’s hearing to addressing these reforms shows that members of Congress understand the vital role that USF and ICC support play in making sure that consumers in hard-to-serve areas continue to have access to affordable advanced communications services.
“Many of the FCC’s changes are just now being implemented, and as today’s hearing demonstrates, many lingering questions remain about how the final rules will be drafted and what their ultimate impact will be on consumers. The answers to these questions are essential in understanding whether the FCC has successfully balanced the need to reach those consumers who do not have access to broadband today without creating new unserved rural areas in the process. The senators’ questions also underscore the need to ensure that the significant reforms adopted by the FCC last fall will be implemented correctly and evaluated for their effectiveness prior to adopting additional changes that may reduce regulatory certainty and market predictability even further.”
The National Telecommunications Cooperative Association 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 and educational programs; and an array of employee benefit programs. Visit us at www.ntca.org.