For Immediate Release
July 29, 2011

American Consumer Institute Responds to

America’s Broadband Connectivity Plan

Proposal would expand broadband access, limit consumer burden

WASHINGTON – A group of leading broadband providers today submitted a proposal to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that would speed broadband deployment to more than 4 million Americans living in rural areas by modernizing the Universal Service Fund and reforming the Intercarrier Compensation system. The following statement should be attributed to Steve Pociask, President of the American Consumer Institute Center for Citizen Research:

“America’s Broadband Connectivity Plan takes steps in the right direction to fix the current broken system, limit consumer burden and hopefully transition the Universal Service Fund (USF) into a mechanism that supports 21st century communications infrastructure.”

“For years we have known that the USF has been broken. This proposal would cap the fund at current levels so consumers don’t continue to see rising fees on their bills and has the goal of connecting all Americans to broadband in the next five years.  It is also encouraging to see that the current arcane Intercarrier Compensation system would be phased out so that all companies would pay a standard rate.  If implemented, this proposal would bring simplification and hopefully curbed costs to rural telephone service.  All of these items, in the end, would benefit consumers.”

About the American Consumer Institute

The American Consumer Institute Center for Citizen Research is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational and research institute founded on the belief that consumers’ interests are not satisfactorily represented by the wide variety of advocacy and consumer organizations that often represent small subsets of consumers and special interests; ignore distant, collateral and unintended consequences of importance to consumers; and too often mirror advocates’ political views rather than an empirical analysis of consumers’ economic welfare.