CenturyLink Concerned FCC’s Connect America Fund Changes Hurt Rural Americans
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today proposed significant changes to the Connect America Fund (CAF) Phase II program being developed under the Universal Service Fund Transformation Order.
“CenturyLink has been providing communications services to rural America for more than 80 years, often in places that are very hard to serve. We understand the unique challenges and opportunities that come with serving high-cost rural areas and want to make sure rural Americans get the broadband service they need and deserve,” said CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE: CTL) Executive Vice President for Public Policy and Government Relations Steve Davis.
“The Connect America Fund program is perhaps the best hope for hundreds of thousands of Americans with no high-speed Internet service today. We agree that faster Internet speeds are where much of the focus must be in terms of meeting the rapidly evolving needs of our customers. Online opportunities are changing the way Americans look at education, commerce and entertainment. We fervently believe that rural Americans have a right to join in this evolution.”
“Accordingly, we believe that the Connect America Fund must first connect America by ensuring that all consumers have access to broadband service. Higher speeds will require commensurate changes in other parts of the program. We are concerned that reverse auctions, extended challenge processes, and funding unlicensed and untested technologies will not help rural Americans get the benefits and opportunities that come with high-speed Internet,” Davis said.