Congressmen Concerned Over Rate Increases

WASHINGTON, D.C. (News release) – Today, Congressman Tom Cotton, joined by Senator John Boozman, Congressmen Rick Crawford Tim Griffin, and Steve Womack sent a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler expressing concern over a potential increase in the “rate floor,” which determines the rate small rural carriers charge for voice services.

The letter reads, in part, “the rate floor mechanism, in effect, offers certain rural telecom companies money to raise customers’ phone bills, with the price increases matched dollar-for-dollar from the federal universal service fund. This perverse incentive structure is negatively impacting rural customers and is skewing the business costs of investing in the provision of rural service.”

Chairman Wheeler recently testified before the House Financial Services and General Government Appropriations subcommittee that the FCC may delay the initial date and phase-in the full rate increase. However, Arkansas Delegation Republicans remain concerned about the broader negative impacts the rate floor will have on rural consumers.


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