The Federal Communications Commission's Broadband Omnibus Initiative team on Friday (March 5) outlined its proposed reforms of the universal service and intercarrier compensation programs that will be included in the FCC's National Broadband Plan, due to Congress on March 17. The following is a statement by Kathleen Grillo, Verizon senior vice president of federal regulatory affairs:
"The broadband team's recommendations are bold and practical. The commission appears to want to take these tough problems head-on and provide a rational framework for repairing the broken subsidy systems. The industry should support this proposal. It makes sense to focus limited Universal Service Fund resources on broadband, rather than layering new support on top of existing voice subsidies. And it is critical to move forward to promptly reform the intercarrier compensation system.
"We hope the commission will also focus its attention in the coming months on how to fix the broken contribution system. The contribution factor is rising every year and will hit a whopping 15.3 percent next quarter, so we need to move to a different model sooner rather than later.
"If we get the policies right, the transformative power of broadband can make real improvements to health care IT, energy conservation, education and national security. That's why Verizon is investing billions of dollars in FiOS, the largest fiber-to-the-home network in the country, and will be rolling out 4G technology, the next generation of wireless broadband, as fast as we can."