FCC asks federal court to delay decision on challenge to its new USF plan

The FCC thinks the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals should take more time to make a final decision on a challenge to its Universal Service Fund/intercarrier compensation reform order--an opinion also espoused by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) and service providers such as AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ).

However, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), which filed the lawsuit, said it will challenge the regulator's petition as well. NARUC said that the FCC's petitions don't address all of the issues they talk about in their suit, Broadcasting & Cable reported.

In its petition, the FCC said that the court needs to delay its ruling because it is also looking at other petitions related to migrating the fund from supporting voice services to broadband. The FCC said these issues are "the sufficiency and scope of the agency's new universal service system" and "the reasonableness of the Commission's plan to reform its intercarrier compensation system."

The commission argues that letting it proceed first could narrow the scope of questions "because the reconsideration petitions currently pending before the FCC raise issues central to the case before this Court--and because the issues raised on reconsideration substantially overlap with those raised in this litigation--the Court should "hold the appeal in abeyance pending the Commission's further proceedings," the FCC told the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.

For more:
- Broadcasting & Cable has this article

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