May 17, 2007
The Federal Communications Commission has asked some input regarding the Federal Joint Board's recommendations
for capping the USF (Universal Services Fund).
Wireless carriers and rural telecom advocacy groups fired back at the FCC with some objections and their
many concerns about the USF.
The RCA (Rural Cellular Association) opposes the limit arguing that it would discriminate against
competitors to rural landline phone companies.
In a statement directed at the FCC, the RCA said, "Economic development and prosperity in rural areas is
tied directly to the availability of modern infrastructure in those areas. In recent years, many RCA members
have made service commitments to rural areas and have qualified to receive USF support."
The RCA added "however, and as most people will agree, there is a lot more wireless network construction
needed in rural areas."
The FJB (Federal Joint Board) recommended an emergency limit on the amount any eligible wireless carrier
could receive from the fund.
The Board recommended that the cap be in place for at least one year while the FCC works out to overhaul
the entire USF system.
Overall, many critics of the proposed limit say that it would harm wireless carriers in rural areas far
more than wireline companies.
CTIA claims that the wireline carriers have benefited far more from the USF, receiving roughly $24 billion,
while wireless carriers have so far only received $2 billion.
The regulatory body called for all comments to be submitted two weeks after the release of the proposed
rulemaking was announced on May 14.
Source: Wireless Week
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