Universal Service Reform: Bringing Broadband to All Americans

Senate Commerce Committee
Oct 12 2011
2:30 PM

This hearing will provide a forum for discussing efforts to reform the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) universal service policy, in particular the high-cost universal service system.

“Traditionally, this program has provided support for voice telephony in rural and high-cost areas of the country—making it possible for consumers across the U.S. to have comparable services at comparable rates,” Chairman Rockefeller said. “But going forward, it is important to refocus this policy on the communications challenges of the current digital age, including broadband and wireless services.

“Chairman Genachowski has taken an important step forward today in bringing broadband—both wired and wireless—to all Americans. I strongly support and applaud his efforts and look forward to working with him and his fellow Commissioners to reform the universal service system. Next week, the Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on the need to move forward on these important proposals. We have a real opportunity to close the digital divide in rural America if we get this right. The time to act is now.”

Witness Panel

Ms. Kathleen Abernathy
Chief Legal Officer and VP
Frontier Communications

Ms. Mary Dillon
President and CEO
US Cellular

Mr. Michael Powell
President and CEO
National Cable and Telecommunications Association

Ms. Shirley Bloomfield
National Telecommunications Cooperative Association

Mr. Philip Jones
Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission