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RON JOHNSON

COMMITTEES:

WISCONSIN

BUDGET

COMMERCE, SCIENCE

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AND TRANSPORTATION

FOREIGN RELATIONS

WASHINGTON, OC 20510

HOMELAND SECURITY AND

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GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

SMALL BUSINESS AND

May 8, 2014

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ENTREPRENEURSHIP

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FCC Ma,i Room

The Honorable Tom Wheeler

Chairman

Federal Communications Commission

445 12th Street, SW

Washington, DC 20554

Dear Chairman Wheeler:

I write today as a follow-up to a letter I signed earlier this week with forty-three of my Senate colleagues

regarding the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and its reforms to the Universal Service

Fund (USF).

I support the policy outlined in the letter that would allow rural rate-of-return carriers to receive USF

support for broadband-only subscribers in high-cost areas of the United States, provided that this policy

would not result in an increase in the USF fee that consumers are charged as a line item on their

telephone bills. Since the contribution factor is assessed quarterly and based on projected demand for

Universal Service funding, a policy that better reflects market demand and reduces costs associated with

building out and maintaining a service that consumers increasingly no longer want should not contribute

to any increase in these projections.

In 2011, I was pleased to see that the FCC, for the first time, set a definitive budget for the High Cost

Program. As Commissioner McDowell explained in his statement to the order, "Functionally, the

budget serves as an annual cap through 2017." In encouraging the FCC to address smaller carrier

support mechanisms, I fully expect the FCC to continue operating within this budget. It is my hope that

such a reform will ultimately result in a savings to the High Cost Program rather than any increased

spending.

Thank you for the opportunity to clarify this position and I appreciate your attention to this important

issue.

WASHINGTON OFFICE:

OSHKOSH OFFICE:

MILWAUKEE OFFICE:

328 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING

219 EAST WASHINGTON AVENUE, SUITE 100

517 EAST WISCONSIN AVENUE

WASHINGTON, DC 20510

OsHKOSH, WI 54901

RooM 408

(202) 224-5323

(920) 230-7250

MILWAUKEE, WI 53202

(414) 276--7282

http://www.ronjohnson.senate.gov

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