Senators Call for Rural Investment Predictability

11.05.2013

A bipartisan letter from 26 senators commending the FCC for temporarily suspending the Quantile Regression Analysis (QRA) portion of the 2011 Universal Service Reform Order was delivered to newly sworn FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler earlier this week. In the letter, the senators praised the continued suspension of the QRA portion of the order that implements caps on Universal Service Fund (USF) support for small telecommunications providers. The senators added they are concerned the reform order will limit the ability of small rate-of return carriers to provide rural America with broadband service they need to compete in today's global economy.

The senators urged the FCC to to continue work on efforts to restore an environment for investment predictability so rural price cap carriers can continue to invest and deploy broadband in rural America.

As of today, more than 70 senators and representatives have written to the FCC about the QRA, and USTelecom continues to encourage members of Congress to reach out to the commission on this important issue.

The letter also urged the commission not to slow the implementation of Phase II of the Connect America Fund for consumers served by larger carriers.

In the summer of 2013, USTelecom along with NTCA and WTA commissioned a study by former FCC Chief Economist Simon Wilkie that found the QRA portion of the USF reform order would reduce broadband investment in some of the United States’ most remote communities.

To read the letter, click here.

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