RWA Asks Commission to Halt Phase-Down of Legacy USF Support for Competitive Carriers

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The Rural Wireless Association, Inc. has asked the Federal Communications Commission to halt the phase-down of Universal Service legacy support because the Mobility Fund Phase II will not be operational or implemented by June 30, 2014.  RWA argues that the Commission has not yet adopted final Mobility Fund Phase II rules and there is no reasonable possibility that the FCC will hold a reverse auction and disburse funds by the June deadline.  Legacy funding is currently scheduled to phase-down to 40 percent of the 2011 monthly baseline on July 1, 2014.  Absent Commission action, competitive carriers face a significant reduction in legacy USF support without replacement Mobility Fund Phase II support.  RWA argues that the Commission should freeze USF support at current levels until July 1, 2015 and find that Phase II is operational once 50% of funding has been disbursed to carriers.  RWA notes that Section 254 of the Communications Act requires the Commission to have “specific, predictable, and sufficient Federal… mechanisms to preserve and advance universal service.”  RWA asserts that the Commission must halt the scheduled phase-down to ensure carriers have specific and predictable access to USF support.

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