Phase II of Mobility Fund and CAF Should Recognize the Benefits of Wireless
(Targeted News Service Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) WASHINGTON, Aug. 8 -- The Competitive Carriers Association issued the following news release:
Today, in filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission), CCA (Competitive Carriers Association) encouraged the FCC to recognize the unique benefits of mobile broadband services when implementing Phase II of the Connect America Fund (CAF) and Mobility Fund and not make snap decisions based on inaccurate claims regarding incumbent carriers' broadband deployments. Additionally, the Commission should implement Phase II of the CAF in a manner that increases efficiency and minimizes competitive distortions and ensure that the transition from legacy high-cost support does not impose undue burdens on wireless carriers and their customers.
"It is absolutely essential for the FCC to thoroughly consider the numerous benefits of wireless services when considering how to distribute high-cost support," said Steven K. Berry, President & CEO of CCA. "The American consumer relies more and more every day on mobility to access the Internet and all it has to offer. Mobility is not just what consumers want, but what they need for educational, health and life-saving technologies. The Commissions' actions on Universal Service Fund reform thus far have not reflected this reality, and the Commission is in danger of compounding these mishaps by reducing the Mobility Fund based on unsupported claims of coverage by the nation's two largest carriers. Instead, the FCC should take this opportunity to get the facts correct to ensure that distribution of Phase II of the CAF and Mobility Fund is competitively and technologically neutral."
"Competitive wireless carriers serve some of the most rural and hard to reach areas of the country and depend on USF support to compete and survive.
The FCC should restore competition to the program and provide wireless recipients with predictable and sufficient support. It makes absolutely no sense to phase down legacy support until rules of the road are in place, including increasing the size of the mobility fund and tackling contribution reform. Mobile broadband services are becoming increasingly necessary to consumers, especially consumers who are young, students, minorities or economically challenged. The FCC should avoid compounding the error, and I strongly encourage the Commission to ensure CAF and Mobility Fund support recognize the benefits of and consumer demands for wireless services."
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