ACA Asks FCC to Keep Broadband Subsidies in Check
PITTSBURGH -- The American Cable Association called on the Federal Communications Commission to establish a process to ensure that billions of dollars in broadband subsides that are provided to large incumbent phone companies through the agency’s Connect America Fund (CAF) are not utilized where broadband service is already being provided by an unsupported provider.
“The FCC must protect the American taxpayer and the competitive market by ensuring that public subsidies will be used to deploy and maintain broadband technology only in eligible areas,” ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said. “ACA believes the FCC must make certain that support is not provided in areas where an unsubsidized competitor provides service.”
ACA set forth its position in comments filed Feb. 20 in connection with the FCC’s multiyear, multibillion dollar effort to ensure that all Americans have affordable access to broadband Internet service. The FCC estimates that about 100 million Americans do not have broadband access in the home. ACA's comments addressed the process for verifying the areas where large telephone companies (so-called price cap local exchange carriers (LECs)) may utilize support through the CAF program, and does not impact the distribution of funds for smaller telephone companies (Rate of Return LECs).