Why is local phone service increasing?
The FCC released an order on November 18, 2011 establishing annual benchmarks for how much must be charged for local service by USF high cost program participants to remain eligible for support from the USF program. In compliance with these requirements, ECTC must raise our monthly local phone service rate to $18.00 by June 1st, 2016.
What is the Universal Service Fund?
The USF is a fund managed by the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) established to provide telecommunication services to rural and high cost areas, low income consumers and to schools, libraries and healthcare facilities throughout the United States. The fund is supported by charging telecommunications companies a fee which is set quarterly. All telecommunications customers contribute to the USF on an equal basis.
Why am I required to receive a phone line when I just want is internet service?
The FCC requires a subscription to local phone service in order to receive USF support. Without providing a phone line and following the USF requirements, ECTC would not receive funding to provide services and rates would have to increase 3-5 times the current rate to provide these same services.
Why does ECTC participate in this program?
The Universal Service High-Cost program is designed to ensure that consumers in rural, high-cost areas have access to telecommunications services at rates that are affordable and reasonably comparable to those in urban areas. Without participating in this program, ECTC would not be able to provide services at affordable rates.
Will ECTC dispute these increases?
ECTC is a member of state and national industry organizations that have been actively lobbying for rural telecommunication providers. ECTC will continue to support these efforts in representing the cooperative’s members to keep quality services at affordable rates.
Who can I call to voice my concerns?
You may contact the Federal Communications Commission, US Senator, or US House of Representative. Also, feel free to contact our business office at any time for additional questions or concern.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20554
UNITED STATES SENATORS
309 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
302 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
202-224-3244 or toll free 1-888-224-9043
UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Rick Nolan, District 8
2366 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-6211