SOURCE: Wireless Internet Service Providers Association

Wireless Internet Service Providers Association

November 03, 2011 17:35 ET

Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA) Reacts to USF Broadband Reform Proposals

MOUNT VERNON, IL--(Marketwire - Nov 3, 2011) - The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) recent Universal Service Fund (USF) reform announcement represents a positive step toward fixing a USF system that has been broken for a long time however we remain concerned that the Commission may be overlooking the opportunity to speed broadband deployment by leveling the playing field between current USF recipients (primarily telephone companies) and the innovative and entrepreneurial fixed wireless broadband providers who have demonstrated the ability to quickly and cost-effectively provide broadband service to unserved and underserved areas without the use of government subsidies. Local, independent, fixed Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) have invested millions of private-sector dollars to deliver broadband service to traditionally unserved and underserved areas and we are concerned about the possibility that USF or Connect America Fund (CAF) subsidies may be used to compete against existing broadband service providers. Using government subsidies to compete against existing privately-funded broadband providers could put many private-sector broadband providers out of business and destroy thousands of local jobs.

"We hope the new FCC rules recognize the important role that privately-funded WISPs are playing to bring broadband service to millions of unserved Americans," Rick Harnish, WISPA's Executive Director said. "We trust that the FCC will work to support and expand our successful private-sector role."

After analyzing the complete FCC order, WISPA looks forward to continuing to work with the FCC to assure that the new CAF regulations support existing privately-funded broadband providers as they continue to cost-effectively bring fixed broadband service to the millions of Americans who would otherwise have no broadband service at home.

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