Washington, DC –The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today adopted an Order to reform the Universal Service Fund (USF) and the Inter-Carrier Compensation (ICC) rules for the broadband era. You may attribute the following statement to AT&T’s Senior Vice President-Federal Regulatory & Chief Privacy Officer Bob Quinn:
“The FCC today took an important step in transforming the concept of universal service. By redefining the 21st century basic service, which all Americans should have access to, as broadband instead of traditional voice, the FCC has recognized the fundamental technological transformation that has occurred across the globe over the past fifteen years. Many Commissions have attempted to solve this seemingly insoluble problem without success. Managing all of the moving industry pieces has been compared to trying to change a tire on a car racing down the highway. This historic achievement could not have occurred without the leadership of Chairman Genachowski, and the commitment of Commissioners Clyburn, McDowell and Copps to work together and to find a path forward.
“While no one can say that it is thrilled with all aspects of what the FCC did today, we are cognizant that we shouldn’t lose sight of the forest – the significance of what this decision means to all Americans – through the trees. In the future, the basic level of service that United States policy will encourage and fund will be broadband and not simply voice service. This is a significant achievement worthy of congratulations and its impact on all Americans should not be minimized. With that said, we look forward to carefully reviewing the details of the FCC’s order before we can fully understand all of its implications.”