American Cable Association seeks changes to USF reform plans

Coverage Type: reporting
American Cable Association (ACA), One Parkway Center, Pittsburgh, PA, 15220, United States

With two weeks to go until the Federal Communications Commission votes on whether to adopt major reforms to the Universal Service program, the American Cable Association still hopes to persuade the FCC to make certain changes to the brokered reform solution proposed by large and small telcos.

Although FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said last week that the FCC does not plan to adopt the brokered solution outright, the proposal has heavily influenced the FCC’s plans. On a conference call with reporters this week, ACA President and CEO Matthew Polka took aim at the brokered solution’s suggestion that price cap carriers have a right of first refusal to build broadband to unserved areas within their ILEC serving areas—provided that the carriers already have deployed broadband to at least 35% of the homes in the area. In areas where the price cap ILEC hasn’t built out to that threshold level competitive carriers would be able to bid to provide service through a reverse auction. The ACA wants the ability to bid more widely—and to enable that to happen, Polka proposed that ILECs be offered the right of first refusal only in areas where they have built out service to less than 35% of homes in the area.

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