Separate Statement of
Commissioner James Quello
July 18, 1997
Re: Changes to the Board of Directors of the National Exchange Carrier Association, Inc.;
Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service. CC Docket Nos. 96-45, 97-21.
I support today's action by the Commission to designate the National Exchange Carrier
Association as the temporary administrator of the universal service support mechanisms. I
believe that the work of the Commission, especially the effort of the Common Carrier Bureau,
and the Joint Board has been commendable. It is clear to me that the real effort in realizing the
goals of the universal service program still lies ahead for the Commission, states, both temporary
and permanent fund administrators, school districts, libraries, health care facilities, and
particularly for telecommunications companies who seek to provide new services and enter new
It is far from clear, however, that the corporate structure created by today's order is the
only reasonable mechanism for performing these functions. For example, it is conceivable that
administering the funds through committees may be superior to the approach contained in this
order. The late date at which I was asked to consider this order complicated my opportunity to
consider this option. Consequently, I support today's order with less enthusiasm and less
confidence than I would like.
In the Universal Service Order, the Commission stated that the schools and libraries
program would become operational on January 1, 1998. In reaching the decision to support the
corporations model in this order, I placed considerable emphasis on appointing a temporary
administrator in a timeframe that would permit us to meet this deadline. Further delays in
appointing the temporary administrator would undermine the critical policy goal of getting the
universal service program running on January 1, 1998.
I expect that the temporary administrator will perform, in an effective and thorough
manner, the duties necessary to publicize the various programs and to estimate, collect, and
distribute funding according to the rules we have adopted. The functioning of the temporary
administrator in the coming months and years may demonstrate the wisdom of establishing
separate corporations. I sincerely hope that it will.
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