Originally published: December 9, 2009
Last updated: December 9, 2009 - 3:05pm
In comments filed at the Federal Communications Commission, CTIA, the lobbying arm of the wireless industry, says that in order to achieve the goals of the National Broadband Plan, it will be necessary to comprehensively reform the existing universal service and intercarrier compensation mechanisms. The existing regimes were designed for a world where wireline telephony was the only product offered and only limited competitive options were available. That world has changed, and the existing programs are no longer well-targeted to the services that consumers demand, namely mobility and broadband. Nowhere is the disparity between program focus and consumer demand more apparent than the High Cost Fund, which directs nearly three times more support to wireline voice technology than to mobile technology, despite the fact that wireless subscribers now double the number of incumbent wirelines. CTIA fully agrees with Chairman Julius Genachowski's assessment that "[t]o be the global leader in innovation 10 years from now, we need to lead the world in wireless broadband." Yet the universal service system is not designed to support wireless broadband. The universal service system must be revised to direct efficient support to mobile and broadband services.
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