The following is a statement by Tom Tauke, Verizon executive vice president of public affairs, policy and communications, on legislation released Friday (Nov. 6) by Rep. Rick Boucher, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet, and Rep. Lee Terry, to reform the Universal Service Fund:
"The current universal service program is out of step with the new communications marketplace. The system is broken. The way consumers pay for the fund does not work, and the way providers draw support from the fund no longer makes sense.
"Chairman Boucher's legislation takes a big step forward with five important reforms: (1) a budget for the high-cost fund; (2) competitive bidding to fund wireless support; (3) an invitation for the FCC to adopt a numbers-based system for contributions into the fund; (4) a deadline for related reform of the intercarrier compensation system; and (5) an end to traffic pumping.
"The Universal Service Reform Act helps put the fund on the right path forward, and we urge Congress to act on it this year."