Six companies – AT&T, CenturyLink, FairPoint, Frontier, Verizon, and Windstream – submitted to the Federal Communications Commission a proposal to increase broadband deployment. The following is a statement from NCTA President & CEO Michael Powell regarding the telco-backed USF Reform “America’s Broadband Connectivity” proposal.
“As the nation’s leading provider of broadband services, the cable industry and NCTA have long supported fundamental reform of the outdated mechanisms for high-cost universal service support and intercarrier compensation to better reflect the competitive broadband marketplace that exists today. That is why we strongly supported the universal service reform principles of the National Broadband Plan that were incorporated by the FCC in its February 2011 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.
“Today, we commend USTelecom and the incumbent telephone companies for offering a proposal designed to extend broadband to communities where it is not available today and to provide certainty in transforming intercarrier compensation to a low, uniform rate. While we recognize some positive elements in the proposed framework, we have important questions regarding how these principles would be fairly applied during the transition period. We believe these issues deserve to be aired and considered, but more than anything, we hope that our collective interest in change will serve as a springboard to reform that will establish meaningful controls on the size of the high-cost fund, expand broadband to those without access today, and create a new mechanism more attuned to the realities of modern technology and fair competition. We look forward to working as a full partner with the Commission and all interested parties to achieve meaningful and lasting reform.”
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