Mobile Wireless Services in Rural Areas Should be Included in Rural Broadband Experiments
(Targeted News Service Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) WASHINGTON, July 11 -- The Competitive Carriers Association issued the following news release:
Today, during its July Open Meeting, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) adopted a Report and Order establishing a budget and process for selecting winning applicants for the Connect America Fund (CAF) Rural Broadband Experiments. CCA supports the FCC's over-arching goals, but is concerned that mobile wireless service providers will be shut out from participating in these proposed experiments, and shares concerns about funds and speeds expressed by Commissioner Michael O'Rielly at today's meeting
In a statement, CCA President & CEO Steven K. Berry said, "Mobile wireless operators, when given a fair playing field, are poised to provide next generation broadband services to all Americans, but particularly those who live and work in rural America where wired products like fiber may not be cost-effectively deployed. Wireless is oftentimes the most efficient and cost-effective means for deploying next generation services in high-cost areas, and it only makes sense for the FCC to include wireless technology in the rural broadband experiments. If structured properly, the proposed experiments could provide unprecedented insight into the way broadband deployment is promoted throughout the country. Unfortunately, based on today's presentation it appears the Commission has missed a valuable opportunity."
"I agree with many of the concerns raised by Commissioner O'Rielly at today's meeting. Making the vast majority of funding contingent on achieving speeds that are several multiples higher than those required of price-cap carriers in receiving CAF Phase I funding makes little sense. The primary directive of these experiments should be to determine which providers can deliver adequate broadband to these currently unserved areas in the most cost-effective, consumer-friendly way. Moreover, the Commission also should renew its work on contribution reform. The FCC continues to put the cart before the horse by not addressing the budget. Wireless carriers contribute more to the fund than wireline carriers, and yet the FCC's rules are technology biased away from consumer-desired mobile services. All consumers, no matter where they live, should have access to adequate broadband capabilities of their choice. I hope the Commission keeps these concerns in mind as it works to ensure every American can connect and enjoy the most robust service possible."
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