FCC Should Avoid Burdensome Requirements in the Mobility Fund II Challenge Process
Washington, DC – November 29, 2017 – Today, in reply comments filed with the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”), Competitive Carriers Association (“CCA”) encouraged the Commission to be mindful of the burdens placed on challenging parties, particularly rural and regional providers, in the Mobility Fund II (“MF II”) challenge process. CCA supports the FCC’s goals to bring high-speed mobile broadband to hard-to-serve markets and urged the Commission to consider the unique challenges of rural and regional carriers when crafting the MF II challenge process procedures.
In a statement, CCA President & CEO Steven K. Berry said, “I applaud the Commission for its efforts to ensure consumers in unserved and underserved areas have access to robust mobile broadband services. As it moves forward with the MF II challenge process, I strongly encourage the FCC to consider the unique challenges of competitive operators to ensure these providers are not overly burdened in the process. For example, the Commission should take into consideration geographic restrictions and weather constraints, particularly in rural and hard-to-reach areas, which could affect the ability for certain providers to collect data within the FCC’s established timeframes.”
“In addition, the FCC should be mindful of the considerable labor and travel costs based on a carrier’s network footprint and the eligible areas map. Many competitive carriers have limited resources and placing additional strain on personnel and financial resources will negatively impact their businesses. The Commission also should refrain from allowing a challenged party to submit additional speed reduction data into the process, which would generate uncertainty and could lead to unnecessary challenges.”
“An accessible and efficient MF II challenge process is an important step toward closing the digital divide based on reliable coverage data. I strongly encourage the Commission to ensure that rural and regional carriers have the opportunity to bring their customers the services they need and desire.”
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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