FCC Should Make Minor Modifications to MF II Challenge Process
Washington, DC – May 7, 2018 – Today, Competitive Carriers Association (“CCA”) filed a Reply with the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) in response to the Rural Wireless Association’s Application for Review of the FCC’s Mobility Fund II (“MF II”) Challenge Process Public Notice. CCA agrees that the Rural Broadband Auctions Task Force, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, and the Wireline Competition Bureau’s (“Bureaus’”) current challenge process procedures could leave significant rural areas impossible to challenge and supports the request to modify certain challenge procedures.
“Under the FCC’s current challenge process, there is a real risk that many rural areas may be left behind in the digital world,” said CCA President & CEO Steven K. Berry. “The Bureaus unfortunately failed to consider or adequately address record evidence regarding the use of a one-kilometer grid cell size and 400-meter buffer radius, leaving many rural areas impossible to challenge in the critically important Mobility Fund II process. CCA members serve some of the most rural and hard-to-reach areas, and access to MF II support is absolutely essential to ensuring these areas can reap the benefits of robust mobile broadband services. I strongly encourage the FCC to modify the Challenge Notice to ensure no square foot of the country is inappropriately deemed ineligible for MF II support.”
“Instead, utilizing a one-mile grid cell size and a quarter mile buffer radius for eligible area challenges will result in a much more accurate process for identifying areas that are still unserved and underserved. The Challenge Notice does a disservice to consumers that live and travel to rural areas and will only hinder the Commission’s important goal of closing the digital divide, and I encourage the FCC to modify the challenge process. It’s just plain common sense to use miles instead of kilometers.”
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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