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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).
FCC ASKS FEDERAL-STATE JOINT BOARD FOR RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING UNIVERSAL SERVICE SUPPORT FOR NON-RURAL CARRIERS THAT SERVE HIGH COST AREAS
In an Order released today, the FCC asked the Federal-State Joint Board on
Universal Service for recommendations related to the amount of universal service
support that non-rural telephone companies should receive for serving high cost areas.
This Commission noted that further coordination with state regulators should provide
valuable input that will enhance the development of universal service and competition
Today's Order refers to the Joint Board issues that the state members of the Board had asked to review, and it requests that the Board issue a recommended decision on the designated issues by November 23, 1998. The Commission will then consider the Joint Board's recommendations before adopting a new mechanism for determining high cost support for non-rural carriers. In order to allow sufficient time for the Joint Board's deliberations and for the Commission to receive public comment on the Joint Board's recommendations, the Commission extended to July 1, 1999, the implementation date for the revised mechanism. In so doing, the Commission noted that the benefits of getting further input from the Joint Board justify the six-month extension. The Commission also emphasized that, during the extension period, there will be no change to the mechanism for determining universal service support for non-rural carriers (as well as rural carriers) that serve high cost areas; thus, existing levels of high cost support will be maintained, and consumers in high cost areas will continue to enjoy access to affordable telephone service.
The issues referred to the Joint Board include the following:
News Media contact: Rochelle Cohen at (202) 418-0253.