WASHINGTON, May 25, 2011 – The Rural Cellular Association issued a statement on Monday encouraging the Federal Communications Commission to reject reverse auctions and seek Congressional authority to institute Universal Service Fund reform.
“The FCC should establish a level playing field that gives every carrier a fair and equal opportunity to compete for funding,” said RCA President and CEO, Steven Berry through the statement. “A cost-model approach is the most efficient and effective way to allocate funding, and truly portable funding would direct support to those carriers that successfully capture customers.”
The FCC supports reverse auctions as one of the key mechanisms in its USF reform proposal. Currently, multiple firms recieve USF money in order to operate. Under the proposed plan a single company would win the right to get USF funding to provide service to consumers.
Berry’s statement regarding reverse auctions comes after a series of recent workshops the FCC held to explore USF reform.
“The wireless industry thrives on competition, which invariably benefits consumers,” said Berry, “and the FCC should work to enhance competition, and not hinder it by adopting reverse auctions.”
“It is critical that the FCC get USF reform right, many small competitive carriers depend on USF support in order to bring wireless service to the most costly areas to serve while surviving economically,” said Berry.