BANKING, HOUSING, AND
361A RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING
WASHINGTON, DC 20510-1606
P: (202) 224-6521
F: (202) 228-6966
April 22, 2014
Received & Inspected
MAY - 1 2014
The Honorable Tom Wheeler
FCC Mail Room
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street Southwest
Washington, D.C, 20554
Dear Chairman Wheeler:
I write to express my deep concern about the impact of Federal Communications Commission's
Wireline Competition Bureau's announcement that it will modify the "rate floor," which will increase the
price of phone service for over one million phone customers in rural America. The decision not only
contradicts Congressionally-mandated policy, but it also provides no benefit to the federal government.
The Communications Act requires the FCC to make telephone service "affordable." While the
initial plan to raise the rate floor from $14 to $20.46 may be modified for a slower phase in, I remain
concerned that about the policy objectives of raising the rate floor. This decision to raise rates only
makes phone service less affordable in rural areas, where incomes are lower and families have fewer
telecommunications options. Furthermore, the rate floor is designed so that the Universal Service Fund
will still distribute the same support to rural telephone companies, providing no savings to taxpayers.
In addition, a major priority of the 2011 Universal Service Transformation Order was to
transition the fund to support broadband service instead of phone service. As I expressed to you in the
recent Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee on Appropriations hearing, many
Kansans receive both broadband and phone service from the same company. Increasing phone creates an
even greater challenge for rural telephone companies who provide broadband service with no federal
support for that service.
The goal of universal service requires thoughtful policy attention. I urge the Commission to
freeze the rate floor indefinitely and review this policy.
Very truly yours,
~err'"\ vYl o~"'
Cc: Commissioner Mignon Clyburn
Cc: Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel
Cc: Commissioner Ajit Pai
Cc: Commissioner Michael O'Reilly
1200 MAIN STREET
923 WESTf'ORT PLACE
23600 COLLEGE BOULEVARD
306 N. BROADWAY STREET
3450 N. ROCK ROAD, BLDG 200
HAYS, KS 67601
MANHATTAN, KS 66502
OLATHE, KS 66061
PITTSBURG, KS 66762
WICHITA, KS 67226
Note: We are currently transitioning our documents into web compatible formats for easier reading. We have done our best to supply this content to you in a presentable form, but there may be some formatting issues while we improve the technology. The original version of the document is available as a PDF, , or as plain text.