Press Release

Public Knowledge Commends FCC for Eliminating Rule Raising Rural Phone Rates

April 12, 2019 ,

Today, the Federal Communications Commission voted to approve a Report and Order that would eliminate the high-cost program’s rate floor rule. This rule prevented payments to carriers whose rates were below a certain threshold — and likely would have resulted in many carriers simply raising the rates they charge rural customers to avoid losing support payments. Public Knowledge commends the FCC for removing this rule.

The following can be attributed to John Bergmayer, Senior Counsel at Public Knowledge:

“Although we have concerns about other aspects of the current FCC's Universal Service policies, this is a move we support. The rate floor may have been well-intentioned when originally designed but it has had the perverse consequence of raising rural phone rates on subscribers, rather than of eliminating subsidies where they are not needed. Eliminating this policy is therefore the right move.”