The National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA) believes that the FCC needs to do some more work on its Universal Service and Intercarrier Compensation reform plans.
Representing U.S.-based rural telcos, the NTCA said that the reform order provisions of the order need to satisfy the mandates of the Communications Act and applicable law.
While the NTCA said that the FCC's move to simplify the USF and ICC programs and provide more accountability for those service providers that benefit from these programs is a step in the right direction, they "also believe that, in certain respects, the order can help to promote the sustainability of these essential programs."
NTCA thinks that many of the proposed reforms could actually jeopardize rural service providers from being able to raise necessary capital to build out new networks to support higher speed broadband services to their respective customer bases.
"Provisions mandating an ultimate price of zero for all switched access and reciprocal compensation services, imposing retroactive and dynamically changing caps on USF-supported costs and blurring the lines between regulated and nonregulated operations are inconsistent with law," said Michael Romano, Senior Vice President of Policy for the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA). "These provisions will harm rural communities, and will not help to advance the availability and affordability of services for all rural consumers."
- see the release
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