|Federal Communications Commission
1919 - M Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
|News media information 202 / 418-0500
Fax-On-Demand 202 / 418-2830
Released: September 17, 1997
FEDERAL-STATE JOINT BOARD ON UNIVERSAL
CC Docket 96-45
CC Docket 96-45
In its Report and Order on Universal Service,(1) released May 8, 1997, the Commission, acting on the recommendation of the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service (the Joint Board), encouraged the Joint Board to establish a Rural Task Force (RTF) to "provide valuable assistance in identifying the issues unique to rural carriers and analyzing the appropriateness of proxy cost models for rural carriers."(2) The Commission suggested that the Joint Board establish the RTF shortly after the Report and Order so that the findings of the RTF can be included in any Joint Board report to the Commission submitted before the Commission issues a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on a forward-looking economic cost mechanism for rural carriers, scheduled to occur by October 1998.(3) Although it noted that the Joint Board has the responsibility to appoint the members of the RTF, the Commission recommended that the RTF include broad industry representation, including rural carriers, as well as a representative from remote and insular areas.(4) Finally, the Commission suggested that the meetings and records of the RTF be open to the public.(5)
Consistent with the Commission's recommendations, the Joint Board hereby announces the creation of a RTF. The RTF will focus solely on studying the establishment of a forward-looking economic cost (FLEC) mechanism for rural telephone carriers. Specifically, the RTF will consider whether a FLEC mechanism for rural carriers should have different platform design features or input values than the mechanism adopted for non-rural carriers.(6) Three subgroups of the RTF will focus on the specific issues of platform design, input values, and the timing of the transition to the FLEC mechanism. The subgroups will report their findings to the RTF. The RTF will then present a report to the Joint Board that makes specific recommendations on the rural FLEC mechanism. The Joint Board will then file a report with the Commission evaluating the RTF's recommendations. The Joint Board report will be filed prior to October 1998, when the Commission will commence a proceeding to establish a FLEC mechanism for rural carriers.
The Federal-State Joint Board solicits nominations for membership in the RTF. The Joint Board will choose RTF members from among the nominations submitted in response to this Public Notice. Members will be selected who are judged to be knowledgeable about either the engineering, economics, or policy concerns of a local exchange network. Nominees should also represent a variety of economic, social, and geographic interests in order to ensure that the RTF membership is well-balanced. Candidates should have sufficient resources to devote to the project, including adequate funding for travel and other expenses. There will be no federal funding available for members of the RTF. The RTF will make its recommendation to the Joint Board by June 15, 1998. We anticipate that the RTF will meet at least three times prior to that date.
The RTF will be comprised of seventeen (17) members. Membership will be comprised of representatives of various groups, allocated as follows:
Each Joint Board member will select two nominees to serve on the RTF, expect for the Chairman of the Joint Board, who will select three nominees. The Joint Board will ensure that the appropriate number of representatives as set forth above are designated for each category. After the Joint Board has appointed the RTF members, the RTF members will vote to select a member to serve as chairperson.
Anyone may nominate a candidate for membership in the RTF. Each nomination should include the nominee's professional and biographical information, such as a resume or professional biography. Nominations should also clearly state the category (e.g., Interexchange carrier) for which each nominee is to be considered.
All nominations must be submitted by October 15, 1997 to the Secretary of the Federal Communications Commission, 1919 M Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20554 and to Astrid Carlson, Federal Communications Commission, 2100 M Street, N.W., 8th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20554. Parties should also send copies of their nominations to the individuals listed on the attached Service List (Appendix). Questions regarding this Public Notice or the nominations process may be directed to Astrid Carlson at (202) 418-7369.
The Honorable Julia Johnson, State Chair Chairman Florida Public Service Commission 2540 Shumard Oak Blvd. Gerald Gunter Building Tallahassee, FL 32399-0850 The Honorable David Baker Commissioner Georgia Public Service Commission 244 Washington Street, S.W. Atlanta, GA 30334-5701 The Honorable Laska Schoenfelder Commissioner South Dakota Public Utilities Commission State Capitol, 500 East Capitol Street Pierre, SD 57501-5070 The Honorable Martha S. Hogerty Public Counsel Missouri Office of Public Counsel 301 West High Street, Suite 250 P.O. Box 7800 Jefferson City, MO 65102 Charles Bolle South Dakota Public Utilities Commission State Capitol, 500 East Capitol Street Pierre, SD 57501-5070 Bridget Duff, State Staff Chair Florida Public Service Commission 2450 Shumard Oak Blvd. Tallahassee, FL 32399-0866 Phillip F. McClelland Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate 1425 Strawberry Square Harrisburg, PA 17120 Tiane Sommer Georgia Public Service Commission 244 Washington Street, S.W. Atlanta, GA 30334-5701 Sheryl Todd (plus 8 copies) Federal Communications Commission Accounting and Audits Division Universal Service Branch 2100 M Street, N.W., Room 8611 Washington, D.C. 20554 Rowland Curry Texas Public Utility Commission 1701 North Congress Avenue P.O. Box 13326 Austin, TX 78701 Ann Dean Maryland Public Service Commission 16th Floor, 6 Paul Street Baltimore, MD 21202-6806
1. Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service, CC Docket No. 96-45, Report and Order, 62 F.R. 32862 (rel. May 8, 1997) (Universal Service Order).
2. Universal Service Order at para. 253.
6. See Universal Service Order at paras. 254-255.