Universal Service Will be Addressed this Year, Says FCC’s Copps

Speaking at the NTCA show yesterday, FCC Commissioner Michael Copps said 2006 will be “the year of action” on a contribution methodology.

Copps is a member of the Universal Service Joint Board, which he said will make recommendations on rates this year.

Noting that he knows access charges are vital to many rural telcos, Copps said his goal is to bring better communications services to everyone, and at reasonable rates.

He said he likes the idea of a revenue-based contribution system noting other options are numbers- or connection-based universal service systems and asked the rural telco crowd at the show for their input.

He added the current intercarrier compensation system is “broken” and out of date, saying the commission needs to revisit these rules now. NARUC, he said, is leading the charge on this issue, by holding a lot of meetings, and is making “progress on rates, phantom traffic and a whole host of issues.”


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