PITTSBURGH, October 6, 2011 - American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued the following statement in response to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski's speech today that outlined his plans for reforming the Universal Service Fund:
"Because any plan to reform the universal service regime will have a significant impact on consumers and competition in the broadband marketplace for the next 20 years, it must be forward looking, recognizing and taking advantage of today's competitive marketplace and the hundreds of broadband providers across the country, including many offering a robust service over cable television infrastructure that is a preferred choice by most consumers. Unfortunately, the Chairman's plan does not achieve this critical objective.
"Instead, the Chairman's plan locks in a sole-source contract worth billions of dollars for years to a handful of incumbent large telecom companies to deploy broadband at maximum speeds that are below average. It favors one small group of providers over others to the disadvantage of consumers. By excluding hundreds of broadband providers willing, able, and eager to compete to provide service to consumers living in rural areas where government support is provided, it will deprive these consumers of receiving the best possible service at the lowest possible price.
"In the weeks ahead, ACA will continue to work with the FCC, and hopes to see the needed fixes in the final plan."
About the American Cable Association: Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing nearly 900 smaller and medium-sized, independent cable companies who provide broadband services for more than 7.6 million cable subscribers primarily located in rural and smaller suburban markets across America. Through active participation in the regulatory and legislative process in Washington, D.C., ACA's members work together to advance the interests of their customers and ensure the future competitiveness and viability of their business. For more information, visit http://www.americancable.org/
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