The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners has called for the Federal Communications Commission to postpone action on reforms to the intercarrier compensation and Universal Service Fund programs to allow for more public comment on the reform proposals. NARUC is asking for a 90-day comment period, which would push the FCC's consideration of the matters from the current schedule of Nov. 4 (Election Day, if such a thing still exists in the age of early voting) to early next year.
NARUC said in a letter to the FCC that it fears the agency, "is rushing to resolve a $13 billion problem based on insufficient information, an inadequate record, and an incredibly compressed deliberative period." It actually took the FCC almost a year to get this far with an original USF reform proposal, though the discussion on both intercarrier compensation and USF reforms actually has lingered for years. However, there are also lingering questions with the latest reform proposals, including the question of how the changes may track with future reform action by Congress.
And, guess what else would happen during a 90-day comment period? The nation will elect a new president, new Congressional representatives, and probably get a new FCC chief or at least see the current one step down. How likely would it be that the current reform proposals would emerge intact after all of those changes?
NARUC urged action via this press release
FCC chief Kevin Martin proposed the reforms earlier this month
The USF also was a hot topic at the FCC last November