TelcoTV 2010: RUS Sends Friend Request to FCC
RUS administrator Jonathan Adelstein announced the decision during his keynote appearance here Tuesday. He'd been a last-minute addition to the schedule.
Specifically, in a keynote otherwise overflowing with numbers related to Recovery Act spending, Adelstein announced he had sent a letter to FCC chairman Julius Genachowski citing "willingness to work with him on Universal Service reform and intercarrier compensation."
The letter is just the showy part, of course. Adelstein said FCC and RUS staffers have already started working together. And their collaboration was discussed at a workshop a couple of weeks ago, said Daniel O'Connell, president of the Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) Council North America, in a conversation with Light Reading following the keynote speeches.
Adelstein discussed no specifics, so it's hard to gauge whether any of this makes any difference. Still, the RUS's move might be valuable in terms of moral support.
The FCC wants to revamp the USF, pointing the money towards broadband deployment rather than telephone service. But the agency lost a key ally in last week's US elections, as Representative Rick Boucher (D-Va.) got booted from office. Boucher and Lee Terry (R-Neb.) had introduced the Universal Service Reform Act of 2010 in July. (Terry, by the way, got re-elected.) (See FCC Goes for USF Reform.)
So, the real significance of the RUS's move might be in its potential to keep up the activity level around USF reform. Otherwise, Boucher's absence might have made it "more difficult for the chairman to gather advocates around," O'Connell said.
— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading