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ACA Disappointed FCC Increases Investment In Flawed CAF I Program

American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued the following statement on May 22 regarding the release of the Federal Communications Commission's Order adopting new rules for the second round of the Connect America Phase I incremental funding in 2013:

"While ACA shares the FCC's objective to bring broadband to unserved areas, any program must ensure money is distributed efficiently and accountably so the American consumer -- who funds the program  -- gets the most bang for the buck.

"Last year's Phase I program was a blunt instrument, designed to jump start broadband in the most unserved areas but without determining the precise amount of funding needed to serve each eligible location.  This shortcoming, while significant, could be tolerated because Phase I was portrayed as a one-time program with a limited budget."

"But now, with this new order, the FCC has given another year of life to this troubled program.  The program's new version suffers from the same problem as last year's, but made worse in that it is now less focused on serving the most unserved areas and funded at a significantly higher level.  The FCC should have struck a better deal for consumers and competitors."

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