Chairman Pai's Response to Rep Ratcliffe Regarding Affordable Access to High-Speed Internet
On Oct 30, 2017, Rep John Ratcliffe (R-TX) wrote to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to take action to address the budget shortfall in certain parts of the High-Cost Universal Service Fund (USF).
On Dec 19, Chairman Pai responded by writing, "It has become clear, as my colleagues and I have worked our way through the punch list of lingering issues from the 2016 Order, that our next focus must be on this issue. The statute directs that universal service support be specific, predictable, and sufficient. I supported the path for rate-of-return carriers to voluntarily accept the offer of support under the Connect America Fund's alternative cost model (the A- CAM)-a system that is specific and predictable over a 10-year term and sufficient for those that elect support. I would do so again. To address these issues, I plan to circulate in the near future an item that will explore how this situation can be changed and to determine the appropriate budget levels. I'll ask my colleagues to join me in considering how to address the uncertainty caused by the current budget control mechanism-such as guaranteeing at least some minimum level of support to ease the unpredictability and allow reasonable capital planning-while being mindful of mitigating the incentives for rate-of-return carriers to operate inefficiently and over-invest capital to increase profits."
Chairman Pai's Response to Rep Ratcliffe Regarding Affordable Access to High-Speed Internet Rep Ratcliffe's Letter to Chairman Pai