Mobility Fund II Should Target Support to Rural Areas that Need It Most; Decision Must Be Based on Reliable, Standardized Facts
Washington, DC – April 26, 2017 – Today, in comments filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission), Competitive Carriers Association encouraged the FCC to ensure it bases its Mobility Fund II (MF-II) program funding decisions on consistent, clear and standardized data. To do this, the FCC’s collection method and challenge process must be targeted and robust, ease burdens on smaller entities, and generate accurate results, to target support to areas that need it most.
“CCA commends the Commission for adopting a Report and Order to implement MF-II and for its commitment to adopting a robust and efficient challenge process to accurately determine where coverage gaps continue to exist despite advertised coverage maps by the largest carriers,” said CCA President & CEO Steven K. Berry. “Consumers in unserved and underserved areas deserve access to high-speed mobile broadband services, and it is absolutely essential for the Commission and the Rural Broadband Auctions Task Force to continue work to improve and standardize the current inconsistent data for determining eligible areas. Over the next ten years, the FCC will make approximately $4.53 billion available to help fill in the coverage gaps, and it only makes sense to make these decisions based on solid, accurate data. No consumer should be left behind as a result of unreliable data.”
“A successful MF-II program is critical for competitive carriers – many of whom serve the most remote and hard-to-service areas in the United States. Specifically, the Commission should welcome participation in the challenge process by all interested parties, place the burden of persuasion on providers claiming coverage, and adopt standards to ensure that evidence supporting final eligibility determinations is clear, precise and most importantly, reliable. The MF-II program provides a real opportunity to ‘fill in the holes’ and bring much needed service to unserved and underserved areas. I commend the Commission for its work on this very important competitive issue and look forward to our continued work with the FCC to help close the digital divide.”
CCA is the nation’s leading association for competitive wireless providers and stakeholders across the United States. The licensed service area of CCA’s nearly 100 carrier members covers 95 percent of the nation. Visit www.ccamobile.org.
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