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Federal Communications Commission
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Washington, D.C. 20554
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Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

Report No. CC 97-59 COMMON CARRIER ACTION December 16, 1997

Commission Revises Universal Service Collection Amounts For the First Six Months of 1998 to Better Correspond With Anticipated Demand
(CC Docket No. 96-45)

The Commission today, on its own motion, revised its decisions governing the amount of money that may be collected during the first six months of 1998 for the federal universal service support mechanisms for schools and libraries and rural health care providers. In implementing Congress's universal service mandate, the Commission has attempted to ensure that the universal service contributions from telecommunications carriers will satisfy, but not significantly exceed, the expected demand from entities that are eligible for universal service support. Because the Commission believes such demand in the first six months of 1998 will be lower than the maximum amounts set forth in the May 8, 1997 Universal Service Order with respect to the schools and libraries and rural health care support mechanisms, it revised the collection amounts accordingly. In a Public Notice released today, the Common Carrier Bureau revised the contribution factors, consistent with the Commission's order, and approved the revised contribution factors.

In today's order, the Commission directed the administrator to collect only as much as required by demand, but in no event more than $25 million per quarter for the first and second quarters of 1998 to support the rural health care universal service support mechanism. In addition, the Commission directed the administrator to collect only as much as required by demand, but in no event more than $625 million for the first six months of 1998, to support the schools and libraries universal service support mechanism. These actions will reduce the financial burdens on universal service contributors without jeopardizing the sufficiency of the support mechanisms. The Commission stated that it may revise the collection caps as it receives further evidence of demand for services.

Action by the Commission December 16, 1997 by Third Order on Reconsideration (FCC 97-411). Chairman Kennard, Commissioners Ness, Powell, and Tristani, with Commissioners Ness and Powell each issuing separate statements and Commissioner Furchtgott-Roth dissenting and issuing a separate statement.


News media contact: Rochelle Cohen at (202) 418-0253.
Common Carrier Bureau contact: Diane Law at (202) 418-7382.