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For Immediate Release: July 15, 2013
Contact: Robert J. Thormeyer, 202-898-9382, rthormeyer@naruc.org

State Regulators Support FCC Joint-Board Referral on Universal Service Expansion

WASHINGTON—The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners issued the following statement supporting House Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Chair Greg Walden’s request that the Federal Communications Commission consider referring Universal Service expansion plans to the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service:

“NARUC supports Chairman Walden’s request to refer Universal Service questions to the Universal Service Joint Board. Congress created the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service for precisely this type of inquiry. Chair Walden’s request underscores the value that the Joint Board process brings to the universal service program. Whatever the proposed change—high-cost support  e-rate expansions, contribution reform, the definition of supported services, Lifeline reform, or other issues--the Joint Board is an important vehicle giving State experts, with keen insights on the impact of program changes, crucial input into the process. Indeed, both NARUC and the FCC are examining the concept of further use of cooperative federalism by using a task force model. The goal of the Universal Service Fund is a laudable one: to ensure all Americans have access to communications services. State and federal regulators, working together on this Joint Board, are best suited to examine when and if the fund should be expanded. We look forward to continued work with the FCC through the joint-board process.”
--NARUC President Philip Jones of Washington, NARUC Committee on Telecommunications Chair John Burke of Vermont

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NARUC is a non-profit organization founded in 1889 whose members include the governmental agencies that are engaged in the regulation of utilities and carriers in the fifty States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. NARUC's member agencies regulate telecommunications, energy, and water utilities. NARUC represents the interests of State public utility commissions before the three branches of the Federal government.

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