Wireless Carrier CEOs Urge FCC to Revise Mobility Fund II Plan
Washington, DC – February 14, 2017 – Today, in a letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) Chairman Ajit Pai, eighteen wireless carrier CEOs urged the Commission to revise its Mobility Fund II (MFII) plan to ensure sufficient, predictable support for the preservation and deployment of wireless networks. Competitive wireless carriers depend on Universal Service Funding (USF), in addition to their own capital resources, to provide comparable service to their consumers in rural areas, and the FCC’s current plan, based on unreliable coverage data, will significantly harm the businesses and consumers that USF is intended to benefit.
In a statement, CCA President & CEO Steven K. Berry said, “This letter makes clear that the FCC’s Mobility Fund II current plan is headed in the wrong direction. Eighteen wireless carrier CEOs – who are out ‘on the front lines’ each and every day trying to run their businesses and bring the best possible services to their customers – are seriously concerned that the FCC’s current plan for MFII will undermine their hard work serving areas that would have gone unserved absent their investment and USF support. The Commission is relying on inaccurate and inconsistent information to determine areas that will be eligible for MFII support, and I strongly encourage the FCC to perform a thorough review of its data and utilize the most accurate measurement analysis to identify coverage gaps. We know that private companies, many that are CCA members, offer the ability to test coverage with greater accuracy and contemporaneous information than the FCC’s current methods. It would be irresponsible for the Commission not to utilize these methods.”
“Most alarming, particularly for rural wireless consumers, is the Commission’s intent to immediately slash legacy USF in many areas where services consumers enjoy today could be reduced by a flash cut of support. Rural areas are some of the most difficult to serve, and putting these funds ‘on the chopping block’ will directly impact carriers’ abilities to continue service and will harm consumers that live in or visit these areas. As these CEOs noted, a flash-cut is fiscally irresponsible, especially given the amount of budgetary planning required to maintain and build out networks.”
“The Commission’s goal to close the digital divide is a laudable one, but its plans for MFII pose serious concerns for competitive wireless carriers. I encourage the Commission to follow Congress’ directive and revise MFII to ensure sufficient, predictable support for the benefit of the industry and consumers.”
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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