CCA Urges Transparency and Disclosure Regarding Handling of CETC USF High-Cost Disbursements
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Lucy Tutwiler
February 16, 2010 (202) 449-9866
Washington, DC – Today, the Competitive Carriers Association (CCA) filed reply comments with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) expressing its concern that the Commission’s handling of USF eligibility and payments following the merger of Verizon Wireless and ALLTEL have a considerable lack of transparency. As USF payments to Verizon Wireless impact numerous other companies, insufficient disclosure regarding discussions between Verizon Wireless and the Commission may negatively impact operations of many carriers, particularly small carriers.
In a statement accompanying the reply comments, CCA CEO Steven K. Berry stated, “I appreciate the complex responsibility that USAC has in administering the Universal Service Fund. However, it is simply unacceptable that USAC cannot reliably forecast support payments in a predictable fashion and that the FCC is not requiring USAC to do so. It is unfortunate and unfair for small carriers to endure economic hardships, including the need to seek short-term financing, solely because of unexpected drops in payments from USAC stemming from closed-door negotiations between the FCC, USAC and Verizon Wireless.
Berry continued, “Complete disclosure in the FCC’s ex parte process will go a long way to achieve transparency. The FCC and USAC can do better, and Congress should demand it.”
CCA is the nation’s leading association for wireless providers serving rural areas of the United States. The licensed service area of CCA’s nearly 100 members covers more than 80 percent of the nation.
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CCA’s Reply Comments on VZW Petitions for Pro Forma Amendment are available here.