WASHINGTON, Nov. 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Embarq Corporation (NYSE: EQ) has released a statement concerning the recommendations of the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service. The statement can be attributed to David Zesiger, EMBARQ vice president-regulatory policy and external affairs.
EMBARQ believes the Joint Board has taken significant steps toward shaping comprehensive universal service reform and commends the board for its innovative and dedicated work on this difficult issue. EMBARQ has emphasized that substantial reform of high-cost universal service is urgently needed to ensure the long-term viability of this important support system. The Joint Board's recommendations are major steps toward that comprehensive reform, including: the elimination of the "identical support rule" that distorts the level of support wireless carriers receive and artificially inflates the overall size of the fund; and the proposed creation of the Broadband and Provider of Last Resort (POLR) funds. The recommendation demonstrates the Joint Board's commitment to supporting rural infrastructure, supporting providers' ability to speed the deployment of advanced services to rural America. We look forward to working with the FCC and Joint Board to continue along the path of reform to equitably benefit consumers in all high-cost rural areas while controlling the growth of the fund.
EMBARQ provides voice, wireless, High Speed Internet and entertainment services to customers in 18 states. The company has approximately 6.8 million access lines and about $6.3 billion in annual revenues. Visit embarq.com for more information.
Background: Subsidies for companies that provide telephone service in rural areas should be capped and part of the money should be dedicated to wireless phone and high-speed Internet service, the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service recommended last week. The Federal Communications Commission oversees the program, which makes direct payments to telecommunications companies that offer phone service in rural areas where it is expensive to provide. Universal Service funding is generated via monthly fees paid by customers of communications and other companies.
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