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Chairman Response Regarding Connect America

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Released: July 17, 2014
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FEDERAL CoMMUNIcATIoNS coMMISSIoN

WASHINGToN

OFFICE OF

THE CHAIRMAN

June 24,2014

The Honorable John Thune

Ranking Member

Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation

United States Senate

560 DirksenSenate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Thune:

Thank you for Your letter supporting the implementation of a universal service

mechanism to allow rural rate-of-return carriers to ieceive support for broadband-only lines.

This is one of the key issues that the commission raised in the connect America Fund Further

Notice of Proposed Rulemakingthat we adopted in April. Your views on this matter are very

important, and will be included in the.".o.d^ of the proceeding and considered as part of the

Commission's review.

The universal service program is one of the most important tools at our,Jisposal to ensure

that consumers and businesses in rural America have the same opportunities as their urban and

suburban counterparts to be active participants in the unitea States of the 2lst century. we are

focused on updating the universal service program to ensure that we are delivering the best

possible voice and broadband experiences to rural America within the confines of our Connect

America budget, *hil-. providing increased certainty and predictability for all carriers and a

climate for increased broadbandixpansion. I agree witr, |ou that we need to ensure the

universal service support mechanisms are serving their iniended purpose of ..increas[ing]

!rg{!ana deploymenl, facilitat[ing] transition tJnew communiCations technologies. and

bridg[ing] the digital divide."

To that end, in April, the Commission voted to move forward with phase II of the

Connect America Fund for price-cap carriers, and took several steps to imp.or" the climate for

broadband investment in areas te*.d by incumbent rate-of-return carriers. Most notably, we

eliminated the Quantile Regression Analysis benchmarks rule because it was not serr,,ing its

intended purpose. In addition, in the above-mentioned Further Notice,the Commission

proposed to adopt a stand-alone broadband funding mechanism for rate-of-return carriers and

sought comment on how to support the deploymerit of broadband-capable networks by rate-of-

return carriers within the current budget for the program. we welcome a dialogue regarding how

a standalone broadband mechanism could be stiuctired to provide support con"sistent with the $2

billion budget for rate-of-return territories.

image02-00.jpg612x792

Page 2-The Honorable John Thune

I look forward to working with you as we continue the work

of reforming and

modernizing the universal service funa trigh-cost prograrnlas well

Fund - to ensure that all Americans have access to robust voice and

as other components of the

broadband services.

I appreciate your interest in this

matter. Please let me know

assistance.

if I can be of any further

/

Sincerely,

image03-00.jpg612x792

FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

WASHINGTON

OFFICE OF

June24.2014

THE CHAIRMAN

The Honorable John Hoeven

United States Senate

338 Russell Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Hoeven:

Thank you for your letter supporting the implementation of a universal service

mechanism to allow rural rate-of-retum carriers to receive support for broadband-only lines.

This is one of the key issues that the Commission raised in the Connect America Fund Further

Notice of Proposed Rulemakingthatwe adopted in April. Your views on this matter are very

important, and will be included in the record of the proceeding and considered as part of the

Commission's review.

The universal service program is one of the most important tools at our disposal to ensure

that consumers and businesses in rural America have the same opportunities as their urban and

suburban counterparts to be active participants in the United States of the 21st century. We are

focused on updating the universal service program to ensure that we are delivering the best

possible voice and broadband experiences to rural America within the confines of our Connect

America budget. while providing increased certainty and predictability for all carriers and a

climate for increased broadband expansion. I agree with you that we need to ensure the

universal service support mechanisms are serving their intended purpose of "increas[ing]

broadband deployment, facilitat[ing] transition to new communications technologies, and

bridg[ing] the digital divide."

To that end, in April, the Commission voted to move forward with Phase II of the

Connect America Fund for price-cap carriers, and took several steps to improve the climate for

broadband investment in areas served by incumbent rate-of-returx carriers. Most notably, we

eliminated the Quantile Regression Analysis benchmarks rule because it was not serving its

intended purpose. In addition, in the above-mentioned Further Notice, the Commission

proposed to adopt a stand-alone broadband funding mechanism for rate-of-return carriers and

sought comment on how to support the deployment of broadband-capable networks by rate-of-

retum carriers within the current budget for the program. We welcome a dialogue regarding how

a standalone broadband mechanism could be structured to provide support consistent with the $2

billion budget for rate-of-return territorie s.

image04-00.jpg612x792

Page2-The Honorable John Hoeven

I look forward to working with you as we continue the work of reforming and

modernizing the universal service fundilgh-cost prolrarni as well as other components of the

Fund - to ensure that all Americans have access to robust voice and broadband services.

your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further

assistanlJ:preciate

image05-00.jpg612x792

FEDERAL CoMMUNICATIoNS CoMM ISSIoN

wASHINGToN

OFFICE OF

THE CHAIRMAN

June 24,2014

The Honorable John Barrasso

United States Senate

307 DirksenSenate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Barrasso:

Thank you for your letter supporting the implementation of a universal service

mechanism to allow rural rate-of-reiurn cu.ri.r, to ieceive support for broadband-only lines.

This is one of the key issues that the commission raised in the connect America Fund Further

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking thatwe adopted i, aprir. your views on this matter are very

&'rl,Xffh#:fr','"T.

incrudeJin the record- of the proceeding and consid.r.o u, part of the

The universal service program is one of the most important tools at our disposal to ensure

that consumers and businesses in-rural America have the same opportunities as their urban and

suburban counterparts to be active participants in the u"i[a states of the 2lsi-century. we are

focused on updating the universal service program;;;;;;;. that we are delivering the best

possible voice and broadband experiences to rural America within the confines of our connect

America budget, *hil." providing increased certainty anJ preoictability fbr all carriers and a

climate for increased broadband-expansion. t ug... *itt |ou that we need to ensure the

universal service support mechanisms are serving their iniended purpose of ..increas[ing]

broadband deploymenl, facilitat[ing] transition tJnew communications technologies, and

bridg[ing] the digital divide.,,

To that end, in April, the commission voted to move forward with phase II of the

connect America Fund for price-cap carriers, and took severar steps to improve the climate for

broadband investment in areas t.*.d by incumbent rate-orreturn carriers. Most notably, we

eliminated the Quantile Regression Analysis benctrmart , *t" because it was ntt serving its

intended purpose. In addition, in the above-mentioned Further Notice,the commission

proposed to adopt a stand-alone broadband frnding -."t unir- for rate-of-retum carriers and

sought comment on how to support the deploym"ri oru."uJb*d-.upuble networks by rate-oi

return carriers within the current budget.for the prog.arn wL *.trorne a dialogue regarding how

a standalone broadband mechanism could b. rd";;;to'proride support consistent with the $2

billion budget for rate-of-return territorie s.

image06-00.jpg612x792

Page 2-The Honorable John Barrasso

I look forward to working with you as we continue the work

of reforming and

modernizing the universar servici fund higtr-cost prolrarn]as welr

Fund - to ensure that all Americans have access to robust voice and

as other components of the

broadband services.

I appreciate your interest in this

matter. Please let me know

assistance.

if I can be of any further

image07-00.jpg612x792

FEDERAL CoMMUNIcATIoNS coMMISSIoN

WeSxINGToN

OFFICE OF

THE CHAIRMAN

June24,2014

The Honorable .Terry Moran

United States Senate

3614. Russell Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 205t0

Dear Senator Moran:

Thank you for your letter supporting the implementation of a universal service

mechanism to allow rural rate-of-retuh carrie., to ieceive support for broadband-only lines.

This is one of the key issues that the commission raised in the connect America Fund Further

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking thatwe adopted in april. Your views on this matter are very

important, and will be included in the ,".ord- of the proceeding and consid"r.J u. part of the

Commission's review.

The universal service program is one of the most important tools at our disposal to ensure

that consumers and businessei in rural America have the same opportunities as their urban and

suburban counterparts to be active participants in the u"ii"a staG of the 21st century. we are

focused on updating the universal service program to ensure that we are delivering the best

possible voice and broadband experiences to rural America within the confines of our Connect

America budget, *hil-. providing increased certainty anJfredictability foralicarriers and a

climate for increased broadbandixpansion. t ugr." *ith |ou that we need to ensure the

universal service support mechanisms are serviig their iniended purpose of .,increas[ing]

broadband deploymenl, facilitat[ing] transition to new communications technologies, and

bridg[ing] the digital divide.',

-

To that end, in April, the Commission voted to move forward with phase II of the

connect America Fund for price-cap carriers, and took several steps to improve the climate for

broadband investment in areas t.*id by incumbent rate-of-return carriers. Irrlost notably, we

eliminated the Quantile Regression Analysis benchmarks rule because it was not serving its

intended purpose. In addition, in the above-mentioned Further Notice,the commission

proposed to adopt a stand-alone broadband funding mechanism for rate-of-return carriers and

sought comment on how to support the deploym"ni oruroudb*d-.upuble networks by rate-of-

return carriers within the current budget.fo-r the program. we welcome a dialogue regarding how

a standalone broadband mechanism could be structired to provide support consistent with the $2

billion budget for rate-of-retum territori es.

image08-00.jpg612x792

Page 2-The Honorable Jerry Moran

I look forward to working with you as we continue the work of reforming and

modemizing the universal servic-e fund high-cor, piogru--- as well as other components of the

Fund - to ensure that all Americans have access to robust voice and broadband services.

your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further

"rrru*'.Slpreciate

image09-00.jpg612x792

FEDERAL coMMUNICATIoNS CoMMISSIoN

wASHINGToN

OFFICE OF

THE CHAIRMAN

June 24,2014

The Honorable Jeff Merkley

United States Senate

313 Han Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Merkley:

Thank you for your letter supporting the implementation of a universal service

mechanism to allow rural rate-of-reium "u..i"., to ieceive support for broadband-only lines.

This is one of the key issues that the Commission raised in the Connect America Fund Further

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that we adopted in April. Your views on this matter are very

important, and will be included in the r..ord of the proceeding and considered as part of the

Commission's review.

The universal service program is one of the most important tools at our disposal to ensure

that consumers and businesses inhral America have the same opportunities as their urban and

yburbSn counterparts to be active participants in the united StaG of the 21st century. we are

focused on updating the universal service program to ensure that we are delivering the best

possible voice and broadband experiences to rural America within the confines of our Connect

America budget, *hil-" providing increased certainty and predictability for all carriers and a

climate for increased broadbandixpansion. I agree with y;, that we need to ensure the

universal service support mechanisms are serving their iniended purpose of ..increas[ing]

frgflana deploymenl, facilitat[ing] transition tJnew communications technologies, and

bridg[ing] the digital divide.,,

To that end, in April, the Commission voted to move forward with phase II of the

Connect America Fund for price-cap carriers, and took several steps to irnp.or. the climate for

broadband investment in areas te*"d by incumbent rate-of-return carrierr. Mort notably, we

eliminated the Quantile Regression Analysis benchmarkr rul. because it was not serving its

intended purpose. In addition. in the above-mentioned Further Notice,the Commission

proposed to adopt a stand-alone broadband funding mechanism for rate-of-retum carriers and

sought comment on how to support the deploymenl of broadband-capable networks by rate-of-

return carriers within the current budget.for the program. we welcome a dialogue regarding how

a standalone broadband mechanism cbuld be structired to provide support corisistent with the $2

bi I lion budget for rate-of-return territories.

image10-00.jpg612x792

Page 2-The Honorable Jeff Merkley

I look forward to working with you as we continue the work of reforming and

modemizing the universal servic-e fund high-cort p*gr-*-- as well as other components of the

Fund - to ensure that all Americans have access to robust voice and broadband services.

urrru*'.Slpreciate

your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any funher

tril,L

Tom Wheeler

image11-00.jpg612x792

FEoennI CoMMUNICATIoNS coMMISsIoN

WASHINGToN

OFFICE OF

THE CHAIRMAN

June24,2014

The Honorable Jeanne Shaheen

United States Senate

520Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Shaheen:

Thank you for your letter supporting the implementation of a universal service

mechanism to allow rural rate-of-return carriers to ieceive support for broadbana-onty tin"r.

This is one of the key issues that the Commission raised in the Connect America Fund Further

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking thatwe adopted in April. Your views on this matter are very

important, and will be included in the r".ord of the proceeding and considered as part of the

Commission's review.

The universal service program is one of the most important tools at our disposal to ensure

that consumers and businesses in rural America have the same opportunities as their urban and

luburban counterparts to be active participants in the United States of the 2lst century. We are

focused on updating the universal service program to ensure that we are delivering the best

possible voice and broadband experiences to rural America within the confines of our Connect

America budget, whlle providing increased certainty and predictability for all carriers and a

climate for increased broadband expansion. I agree with you that we need to ensure the

universal service support mechanisms are serving their iniended purpose of ,.increas[ing]

lrgadband deployment, facilitat[ing] transition to new communiCations technologies, and

bridg[ing] the digital divide."

To that end, in April, the Commission voted to move forward with phase II of the

Connect America Fund for price-cap carriers, and took several steps to improve the climate for

broadband investment in areas served by incumbent rate-of-retum carriers. Most notably, we

eliminated the Quantile Regression Analysis benchmarks rule because it was not serving its

intended pulpose. In addition, in the above-mentioned Further Notice,the Commission

proposed to adopt a stand-alone broadband funding mechanism for rate-of-return carriers and

sought comment on how to support the deployment of broadband-capable networks by rate-of-

retum carriers within the current budget for the program. We welcome a dialogue regarding how

a standalone broadband mechanism could be structured to provide support con"sistent with the $2

billion budget for rate-of-return territories.

image12-00.jpg612x792

Page 2-The Honorable Jeanne Shaheen

I look forward to working with you as we continue the work of reforming and

modernizing the universal service fund high-cost program - as well as other components of the

Fund - to ensure that all Americans have access to robust voice and broadband services.

I appreciate your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further

assistance.

image13-00.jpg612x792

FEDERAL CoT'a na U N ICATIoNS CoM M ISSIoN

WASHINGToN

OFFICE OF

THE CHAIRMAN

June24,2014

The Honorable James Risch

United States Senate

483 Russell Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Risch:

Thank you for your letter supporting the implementation of a universal service

mechanism to allow rural rate-of-return carriers to ieceive support for broadband-only lines.

This is one of the key issues that the Commission raised inthi Connect America Fund Further

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking thatwe adopted in April. Your views r:n this matter are very

important, and will be included in the reco.d of the pioceeding and considered as part of the

Commission's review.

The universal service program is one of the most important tools at our disposal to ensure

that consumers and businesses in rural America have the same opportunities as their urban and

suburban counterparts to be active participants in the United States of the 2l st century. We are

focused on updating the universal service program to ensure that we are delivering the best

possible voice and broadband experiences to rural America within the confine, of o* Connect

America budget, while providing increased certainty and predictability for all carriers and a

climate for increased broadband expansion. I agreewith you that we need to ensure the

universal service support mechanisms are serving their iniended purpose of .,increas[ing]

broadband deployment, facilitat[ing] transition to new communiCations technologies, and

bridg[ing] the digital divide.,'

To that end, in April, the Commission voted to move forward with phase II of the

Connect America Fund for price-cap carriers, and took several steps to improve the climate for

broadband investment in areas served by incumbent rate-of-return carriers. Most notably, we

eliminated the Quantile Regression Analysis benchmarks rule because it was not serving its

intended purpose. In addition, in the above-mentioned Further Notice,the Commission

proposed to adopt a stand-alone broadband funding mechanism for rate-of-return carriers and

sought comment on how to support the deployment of broadband-capable networks by rate-of-

retum carriers within the current budget for the program. We welcome a dialogue regarding how

bi llion budget for rate-of-return territories.

a standalone broadband mechanism could be structured to provide support "on]irt"rt with ihe $2

image14-00.jpg612x792

Page2-The Honorable James Risch

I look forward to working with you as we continue the work of reforming and

modernizing the universal service fund high-cost program - as well as other components of the

Fund - to ensure that all Americans have access to robust voice and broadband services.

your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further

asslstance.

^^^,^.^_'^lrpreciate

L

Sincerely,

om Wheeler

image15-00.jpg612x792

FEDERAL CoMMUNICATIoNS CoMMISSIoN

WASH INGToN

OFFICE OF

June 24,2014

THE CHAIRMAN

The Honorable James Inhofe

United States Senate

205 Russell Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Inhofe:

Thank you for your letter supporting the implementation of a universal service

mechanism to allow rural rate-of-return carriers to receive support for broadband-only lines.

This is one of the key issues that the Commission raised in the Connect America Fun:d Further

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that we adopted in April. Your views on this matter are very

important, and will be included in the record of the proceeding and considered as part of the

Commission's review.

The universal service program is one of the most important tools at our disposal to ensure

that consumers and businesses in rural America have the same opportunities as their urban and

suburban counterparts to be active participants in the United States of the 2lst century. We are

focused on updating the universal service program to ensure that we are delivering the best

possible voice and broadband experiences to rural America within the confines of our Connect

America budget, while providing increased certainty and predictability for all carriers and a

climate for increased broadband expansion. I agree with you that we need to ensure the

universal service support mechanisms are serving their intended purpose of "increas[ing]

broadband deployment, facilitat[ing] transition to new communications technologies, and

bridg[ing] the digital divide."

To that end, in April, the Commission voted to move forward with Phase II of the

Connect America Fund for price-cap carriers, and took several steps to improve the climate for

broadband investment in areas served by incumbent rate-of-return carriers. Most notably, we

eliminated the Quantile Regression Analysis benchmarks rule because it was not serving its

intended pu{pose. In addition, in the above-mentioned Further Notice. the Commission

proposed to adopt a stand-alone broadband funding mechanism for rate-of-return carriers and

sought comment on how to support the deployment of broadband-capable networks by rate-of-

return carriers within the current budget for the program. We welcome a dialogue regarding how

a standalone broadband mechanism could be structured to provide support consistent with the $2

billion budget for rate-of-return territorie s.

image16-00.jpg612x792

Page 2-The Honorable James Inhofe

I look forward to working with you as we continue the work of reforming and

modernizing the universal service fund high-cost program - as well as other components of the

Fund - to ensure that all Americans have access to robust voice and broadband services.

I appreciate your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further

assistance.

image17-00.jpg612x792

FEDERAL CoMMUNIcATIoNs coMM IssIoN

WASHINGToN

OFFICE OF

THE CHAIRMAN

June24,2014

The Honorable Heidi Heitkamp

United States Senate

502 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 2OSIO

Dear Senator Hei&:

Thank you for your letter supporting the implementation of a universal service

mechanism to allow rural rate-of-reiurn .u{"r.r to ....i* rrpport for broadband-only lines.

Notice of Proposed Rulemakingthat we adoptedin april. -v"* views on this matter are very

This is one of the key issues that the commission raised intie connect America Fund Further

important, and will be included*in the record of the proceeding and considered as part ofthe

Commission's review.

The universal service program is oneof the most important tools at our disposal to ensure

that consumers and businesses in-rural America have the same opportunities as their urban and

suburban counterparts to be active participants in the United States of the 21st century. we are

focused on updating the universal service program to ensure that we are delivering the best

possible voice and broadband experiences to rural America within the confines of our connect

America budget, whilg nroviding increased certainty *J prrJi.t bility for all carriers and a

climate for increased broadband-e*p*rior. I agree with you that we need to ensure the

universal service support mechanisms are serviig their inlend"a purpor. of ..increas[ing]

broadband deployment, facilitat[ing] transition to'new communications technologies, and

bridg[ing] the digital divide.,,

To that end' in April, the commission voted to move forward with phase II of the

connect America Fund for price-cap

broadband investment in areas r"*id u-v incumbent rate-of-retu"r'";;;;^u*l'r"Luly, we

"uoirrr, and took severar steps to improve the climate for

intended purpose. rn addition, in th.;;;;;;r;;;;;;;;ri

eliminated the Quantile Regression anayrir urn.t roar[. *t-, ur.rrre it was not serving its

*orrrr,the commission

proposed to adopt a stand-alone broadbandfirnding;;;ili;; for rate-of-return carriers and

return cariers within the current budget for trre p.ogr* w" ielcome a dialogue regarding how

sought comment on how to support the deploymd "ab;il;;-capable nerworks by rate-of-

a standalone broadband mechanism c-ould be roir,iiJio;;";fo. support consistent with the $2

billion budget for rate-of-retr* t"*ii".i"r.

image18-00.jpg612x792

Page 2-The Honorable Heidi Heitkamp

I look forward to working with you as we continue the work of reforming and

modernizing the universal servic-e n*aiigt-"ort p-grr- - * *"u as other components of the

Fund - to ensure that all Americans rru* i.."r, to robust voice and broadband services.

*rir*I"3lpreciate

your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further

image19-00.jpg612x792

FEDERAL CoMMUNICATIoNS coM M ISSIoN

WASHINGToN

OFFICE OF

THE CHAIRMAN

June 24,2014

The Honorable Dick Durbin

United States Senate

711 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Durbin:

Thank you for your letter supporting the implementation of a universal service

mechanism to allow rural rate-of-return carriers to ieceive support for broadband-only lines.

This is one of the key issues that the Commission raised inthi Connect America Fund Further

Notice of Proposed Rulemakingthatwe adopted in April. Your views on this matter are very

important, and will be included in the.."ord of the proceeding and considered as part of the

Commission's review.

The universal service program is one of the most important tools at our disposal to ensure

that consumers and businesses in rural America have the same opportunities as their urban and

luburban counterparts to be active participants in the United States of the 21st century. We are

focused on updating the universal service program to ensure that we are delivering the best

possible voice and broadband experiences to rural America within the confines of our Connect

America budget, while providing increased certainty and predictability for all carriers and a

climate for increased broadband expansion. I agree with you that we need to ensure the

universal service support mechanisms are serving their iniended purpose of ..increas[ing]

!r9{!and deployment, facilitat[ing,1 transition to new communiCations technologies, and

bridg[ing] the digital divide."

To that end, in April, the Commission voted to move forward with phase II of the

Connect America Fund for price-cap carriers, and took several steps to improve the climate for

broadband investment in areas served by incumbent rate-of-return-carriers. Most notably, we

eliminated the Quantile Regression Analysis benchmarks rule because it was not serving its

intended purpose. In addition, in the above-mentioned Further Notice,the Commission

proposed to adopt a stand-alone broadband funding mechanism for rate-of-return carriers and

sought comment on how to support the deploymeni of broadband-capable networks by rate-of-

return carriers within the current budget for the program. We welcome a dialogue regarding how

a standalone broadband mechanism could be structured to provide support corisistent with the $2

billion budget for rate-o f-return territorie s.

image20-00.jpg612x792

Page 2-The Honorable Dick Durbin

I look forward to working with you as we continue the work of reforming and

Fund - to ensure that all Americans t ur. u...rs to roLust voice and broadband services.

modernizing the universal servic-e trna trigtr-co* p.og.u*- as well as other components of the

your interest in this matter. please let me know if I can be of any further

"rrr.,rnlllpreciate

Sincerely,

image21-00.jpg612x792

FEDERAL CoMM UNICATIoNS coMMISSIoN

WASHINGToN

OFFICE OF

THE CHAIRMAN

lvne24,2014

The Honorable Debbie Stabenow

United States Senate

133 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Stabenow:

Thank you for your letter supporting the implementation of a universal service

mechanism to allow rural rate-of-reiurn carriers to ieceive support for broadband-only lines.

This is one of the key issues that the commission raised in the connect America Fund Further

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking thatwe adopted in april. your views on this matter are very

important, and will be included in the.."o.d- of the proceeding and considered as part of the

Commission's review.

The universal service program is one of the most important tools at our disposal to ensure

that consumers and businesses inlural America have the same opportunities as their urban and

suburban counterparts to be active participants in the u"i[a staies of the 2lst century. we are

focused on updating the universal service p.og.urr a;;;r;;. that we are delivering the best

possible voice and -blgaabano experiences to rural America within the confines of our connect

America budget, while providing increased certainty and pieoictability for all carriers and a

climate for increased broadband expansior. t ug.." *ith |ou that we need to ensure the

universal service support mechanisms are serving their iniended purpose of ..increas[ing]

broadband deployment, facilitat[ing] transition tinew communications technologies, and

bridg[ing] the digital divide.',

To that end, in April, the Commission voted to move forward with phase II of the

connect America Fund for price-cap carriers, and took severar steps to improve the climate for

broadband investment in areas t.tu.d by incumbent rate-of-return carriers. Most notably, we

eliminated the Quantile Regression Analysis benchmark, *t. because it was not serving its

intended purpose. In addition, in the above-mentioned Further Notice,the Commission

proposed to adopt a stand-alone broadband funding me"h*is- for rate-of-return carriers and

sought comment on how to support the deploymeni orbroadband-capable networks by rate-of-

retum carriers within the current budget-for the program. we welcome a dialogue regarding how

a standalone broadband mechanism could be structired to provide support consistent with the $2

bi llion budget for rate-o f-return territorie s.

image22-00.jpg612x792

Page 2-The Honorable Debbie Stabenow

I look forward to working with you as we continue the work of reforming and

modernizing the universal servici fund high-cor, progru,n-- as well as other components of the

Fund - to ensure that all Americans have access to robust voice and broadband services.

ffi

urriuunlSlrreciate

your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further

Sincerely, /

/

image23-00.jpg612x792

FEOEnnI CoMMUNICATIoNs CoMMIsSIoN

WASHINGToN

OFFICE OF

June24,2014

THE CHAIRMAN

The Honorable Deb Fischer

United States Senate

383 Russell Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Fischer:

Thank you for your letter supporting the implementation of a universal service

mechanism to allow rural rate-of-return carriers to receive support for broadband-only lines.

This is one of the key issues that the Commission raised inthe Connect America Fund Further

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that we adopted in April. Your views on this matter are very

important, and will be included in the record of the proceeding and considered as part of the

Commission's review.

The universal service program is one of the most important tools at our disposal to ensure

that consumers and businesses in rural America have the same opportunities as their urban and

luburban counterparts to be active participants in the United Staies of the 2lst century. We are

focused on updating the universal service program to ensure that we are delivering thl best

possible voice and broadband experiences to rural America within the confine, of o* Connect

America budget, while providing increased certainty and predictability for all carriers and a

climate for increased broadband expansion. I agree with you that we need to ensure the

universal service support mechanisms are serving their intended puryose of "increas[ing]

broadband deployment, facilitat[ing] transition to new communiCations technologies, and

bridg[ing] the digital divide."

To that end, in April, the Commission voted to move forward with Phase II of the

Connect America Fund for price-cap carriers, and took several steps to improve the climate for

broadband investment in areas served by incumbent rate-of-retum carriers. Most notably, we

eliminated the Quantile Regression Analysis benchmarks rule because it was not serving its

intended purpose. In addition, in the above-mentioned Further Notice,the Commission

proposed to adopt a stand-alone broadband funding mechanism for rate-of-return carriers and

sought comment on how to support the deployment of broadband-capable networks by rate-of-

retum carriers within the current budget for the program. We welcome a dialogue regarding how

a standalone broadband mechanism could be structured to provide support coniirte.rt wittr ihe $Z

billion budget for rate-of-retum territories.

image24-00.jpg612x792

Page 2-The Honorable Deb Fischer

I look forward to working with you as we continue the work of reforming and

modernizing the universal service fund high-cost program - as well as other components of the

Fund - to ensure that all Americans have access to robust voice and broadband services.

I appreciate your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further

assistance.

image25-00.jpg612x792

FEDERAL CoMMUNICATIoNS CoM M IsSIoN

WASHINGToN

OFFICE OF

THE CHAIRMAN

June 24,2074

The Honorable Dean Heller

United States Senate

324Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Heller:

Thank you for your letter supporting the implementation of a universal service

mechanism to allow rural rate-of-ret-urn carriers to ieceive support for broadband-only lines.

This is one of the key issues that the Commission raised in the Connect America Fund Further

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking thatwe adopted in April. your views on this matter ile very

important, and will be included in the r..ord^ of the pioceeding and considered as part of the

Commission's review.

'Ihe universal service program is one of the most important tools at our disposal to ensure

that consumers and businesses in rural America have the same opportunities as their urban and

suburban counterparts to be active participants in the unitea staG of the 21st century. we are

focused on updating the universal serviceprogram to .nr*. that we are delivering the best

possible voice and broadband experiences to rural America within the confines of our Connect

America budget, *hil-" providing increased certainty and predictability for all carriers and a

climate for increased broadband expansion. I agree with |ou that we need to ensure the

universal service support mechanisms are serviig their iniended purpose of ..increas[ing]

prgfland deploymenl, facilitat[ing] transition to new communications technologies, and

bridg[ing] the digital divide.,,

-

To that end, in April, the Commission voted to move forward with phase II of the

connect America Fund for price-cap carriers, and took several steps to improve the climate for

broadband investment in areas setrid by incumbent rate-of-return carriers. Most notably, we

eliminated the Quantile Regression Analysis benchmarks rule because it was not serving its

intended purpose. In addition, in the above-mentioned Further Notice,the Commission

proposed to adopt a stand-alone broadband funding mechanism for rate-of-return carriers and

sought comment on how to support the deploymen-t of broadband-capable networtby rate-of-

return carriers within the current budget for the program. we welcome a dialogue regarding how

a standalone broadband mechanism could be structired to provide support con"sistent with the $2

bill ion budget for rate-of-return territories.

image26-00.jpg612x792

Page 2-The Honorable Dean Heller

I look forward to working with you as we continue the work of reforming and

modemizing the universal servic-e fund high-cor, piogru,n-- as well as other components of the

Fund - to ensure that all Americans have access to robust voice and broadband services.

your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further

"r.ru"r'.Slpreciate

image27-00.jpg612x792

FEDERAL CoMMUNICATIoNS CoMMISSIoN

WASHINGToN

OFFICE OF

THE CHAIRMAN

June24,2014

The Honorable Daniel Coats

United States Senate

493 Russell Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Coats:

Thank you for your letter supporting the implementation of a universal service

mechanism to allow rural rate-of-return carriers to receive support for broadband-only lines.

This is one of the key issues that the Commission raised in the Connect America Fund Further

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that we adopted in April. Your views on this matter are very

important, and will be included in the record of the proceeding and considered as part of the

Commission's review.

The universal service program is one of the most important tools at our disposal to ensure

that consumers and businesses in rural America have the same opportunities as their urban and

suburban counterparts to be active participants in the United States of the 2lst century. We are

focused on updating the universal service program to ensure that we are delivering the best

possible voice and broadband experiences to rural America within the confines of our Connect

America budget, while providing increased certainty and predictability for all carriers and a

climate for increased broadband expansion. I agree with you that we need to ensure the

universal service support mechanisms are serving their intended purpose of "increas[ing]

broadband deployment, facilitat[ing] transition to new communications technologies, and

bridg[ing] the digital divide."

To that end, in April, the Commission voted to move forward with Phase II of the

Connect America Fund for price-cap carriers, and took several steps to improve the climate for

broadband investment in areas served by incumbent rate-of-return carriers. Most notably, we

eliminated the Quantile Regression Analysis benchmarks rule because it was not serving its

intended purpose. In addition, in the above-mentioned Further Notice, the Commission

proposed to adopt a stand-alone broadband funding mechanism for rate-of-return carriers and

sought comment on how to support the deployment of broadband-capable networks by rate-of-

return carriers within the current budget for the program. We welcome a dialogue regarding how

a standalone broadband mechanism could be structured to provide support consistent with the $2

billion budget for rate-of-return territori es.

image28-00.jpg612x792

Page 2-The Honorable Daniel Coats

I look forwTd to working with you as we continue the work of reforming and

modemizing the universal servic-e funa high-c"J il;r;-

Fund - to ensure that all Americans have access to robust voice and broadband services.

as well as other components of the

urrru*t"3lpreciate

your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further

heeler

image29-00.jpg612x792

FEDERAL COMMUN ICATIONS COM M ISSION

WASHINGTON

OFFICE OF

June24,2014

THE CHAIRMAN

The Honorable Claire McCaskill

United States Senate

506 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator McCaskill:

Thank you for your letter supporting the implementation of a universal service

mechanism to allow rural rate-of-return carriers to receive support for broadband-only lines.

This is one of the key issues that the Commission raised in the Connect America Fund Further

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that we adopted in April. Your views on this matter are very

important, and will be included in the record of the proceeding and considered as part of the

Commission's review.

The universal service program is one of the most important tools at our disposal to ensure

that consumers and businesses in rural America have the same opportunities as their urban and

suburban counterparts to be active participants in the United States of the 21st century. We are

focused on updating the universal service program to ensure that we are delivering the best

possible voice and broadband experiences to rural America within the confines of our Connect

America budget, while providing increased certainty and predictability for all carriers and a

climate for increased broadband expansion. I agree with you that we need to ensurq the

universal serv-ice support mechanisms are serving their intended purpose of "increas[ing]

broadband deployment, facilitat[ing] transition to new communications technologies, and

bridg[ing] the digital divide."

To that end, in April, the Commission voted to move forward with Phase II of the

Connect America Fund for price-cap carriers, and took several steps to improve the climate for

broadband investment in areas served by incumbent rate-of-retum carriers. Most notably, we

eliminated the Quantile Regression Analysis benchmarks rule because it was not serving its

intended purpose. In addition, in the above-mentioned Further Notice, the Commission

proposed to adopt a stand-alone broadband funding mechanism for rate-of-return carriers and

sought comment on how to support the deployment of broadband-capable networks by rate-of-

return caniers within the current budget for the program. We welcome a dialogue regarding how

a standalone broadband mechanism could be structured to provide support consistent with the $2

bil lion budget for rate-ot'-return territorie s.

image30-00.jpg612x792

Page 2-The Honorable Claire McCaskill

I look forward to working with you as we continue the work of reforming and

modemizing the universal service fund high-cost program - as well as other components of the

Fund - to ensure that all Americans have access to robust voice and broadband services.

I appreciate your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further

assistance.

image31-00.jpg612x792

FEDERAL CoMMUNICATIoNs CoMM ISSIoN

WASHINGTON

OFFICE OF

THE CHAIRMAN

June24,2014

The Honorable Charles Grassley

United States Senate

135 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Grassley:

Thank you for your letter supporting the implementation of a universal service

mechanism to allow rural rate-of-return carriers to ieceive support for broadband-only lines.

This is one of the key issues that the commission raised in the connect America Fund Further

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking thatwe adopted in April. your views on this matter are very

important, and will be included in the ,""o.d of the proceeding and considered as part of the

Commission's review.

The universal service program is one of the most important tools at our disposal to ensure

that consumers and businessei inhral America have the same opportunities as their urban and

suburban counterparts to be active participants in the unitea StaG of the 2lst century. we are

focused on updating the universal service program to ensure that we are delivering the best

possible voice and broadband experiences to rural America within the confines of our Connect

America budget, *hil-" providing increased certainty anJfredictability ro. aticuniers and a

climate for increased broadbandixpansion. I ug."" *ith io,, tt at we need to ensure the

universal service support mechanisms are serving their iniended purpose of ..increas[ing]

broadband deploymenl- facilitat[ing] transition tJ new communiCations technologies, and

bridg[ing] the digitat divide.,,

-

To that end, in April, the Commission voted to move forward with phase II of the

connect America Fund for price-cap carriers, and took several steps to irnp.or" the climate for

broadband investment in areas t.*"d by incumbent rate-of-return carriers. Most notably, we

eliminated the Quantile Regression Analysis benchmarks rule because it was not serving its

intended pu{pose. In addition, in the above-mentioned Further Notice,the Commission

proposed to adopt a stand-alone broadband funding mechanism for rate-of-return carriers and

sought comment on how to support the deploymeri c,f broadb*d-.upuble networks by rate-of-

return carriers within the current budget for the program. we welcome a dialogue regarding how

a standalone broadband mechanism could be structired to provide support consistent with the $2

bi llion budget for rate-o f-return territories.

image32-00.jpg612x792

P age 2-The Honorable Charles Grassley

I look forward to working with you as we continue the work of reforming and

modernizing the universal serviJe fir"a rrigt -."J il;;;-

Fund - to ensure that all Americans t ur. u....s to rotust voice and broadband services.

as welr as other components of the

urr,r,*'.3lpreciate

your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further

image33-00.jpg612x792

FEDERAL CoM M UN ICATIoNS CoM M ISSIoN

WASHINGToN

OFFICE OF

THE CHAIRMAN

June24,2014

The Honorable Angus King, Jr.

United States Senate

359 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator King:

Thank you for your letter supporting the implementation of a universal service

mechanism to allow rural rate-of-reium carriers to ieceive support for broadband-only lines.

This is one of the key issues that the Commission raised in the connect America Fund Further

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking thatwe adopted in April. Your views on this matter are very

)Tojl?l];111:l'l be included in the ,."o.d- of the proceeding and considered as part of the

LOmmlsslon's revlew.

The universal service program is one of the most important tools at our disposal to ensure

that consumers and businesses in rural America have the same opportunities as their urban and

suburban counterparts to be active participants in the United States of the 21st century. we are

focused on updating the universal service program to ensure that we are delivering the best

possible voice and broadband experiences to rural America within the confines of our Connect

America budget, while providing increased certainty and predictability for all carriers and a

climate for increased broadband expansion. I agree with you that we need to ensure the

universal service support mechanisms are serving their iniended purpose of ..increas[ing]

-urg-aalana deployment, facilitat[ing] transition to new communications technologies, and

bridg[ing] the digital divide.,,

To that end, in April, the Commission voted to move forward with phase II of the

Connect America Fund for price-cap carriers, and took several steps to improve the climate for

broadband investment in areas te*ed by incumbent rate-of-return carriers. Most notably, we

eliminated the Quantile Regression Analysis benchmarks rule because it was not serving its

intended purpose. In addition, in the above-mentioned Further Notice,the Commission

proposed to adopt a stand-alone broadband funding mechanism for rate-of-return carriers and

sought comment on how to support the deploymen-t of broadband-capable networks by rate-of-

return carriers within the current budget for the program. We welcome a dialogue regarding how

a standalone broadband mechanism could be structured to provide support con"sistent with the $2

bil I i on budget for rate-of-return territories.

image34-00.jpg612x792

Page 2-The Honorable Angus King, Jr.

I look forward to working with you as we continue the work of reforming and

modernizing the universal servici fund high-cort p.og.u- I as well as other components of the

Fund - to ensure that all Americans have access to robust voice and broadband services.

I appreciate your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further

assistance.

Sincerely,

image35-00.jpg612x792

FEDERAL CoMMUNICATIoNS CoMMISSIoN

WAsH INGToN

OFFICE OF

rHE CHAIRMAN

June24,2014

The Honorable Amy Klobuchar

United States Senate

302Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Klobuchar:

Thank you for your letter supporting the implementation of a universal service

mechanism to allow rural rate-of-return carriers to receive support for broadband-only lines.

This is one of the key issues that the Commission raised in the Connect America Fund Further

Notice of Proposed Rulemakingthatwe adopted in April. Your views on this matter are very

important, and will be included in the record of the proceeding and considered as part of the

Commission's review.

I'he universal service program is one of the most important tools at our disposal to ensure

that consumers and businesses in rural America have the same opportunities as their urban and

suburban counterparts to be active participants in the United States of the 2lst century. We are

focused on updating the universal service program to ensure that we are delivering the best

possible voice and broadband experiences to rural America within the confines of our Connect

America budget, while providing increased certainty and predictability for all carriers and a

climate for increased broadband expansion. I agree with you that we need to ensure the

universal service support mechanisms are serving their intended purpose of "increas[ing]

broadband deployment, facilitat[ing] transition to new communications technologies, and

bridg[ing] the digital divide."

To that end, in April, the Commission voted to move forward with Phase II of the

Connect America Fund for price-cap carriers. and took several steps to improve the climate for

broadband investment in areas served by incumbent rate-of-return carriers. Most notably, we

eliminated the Quantile Regression Analysis benchmarks rule because it was not serving its

intended purpose. In addition, in the above-mentioned Further Notice, the Commission

proposed to adopt a stand-alone broadband funding mechanism for rate-of-return carriers and

sought comment on how-to support the deployment of broadband-capable networks by rate-of-

return carriers within the current budget for the program. We welcome a dialogue regarding how

a standalone broadband mechanism could be structured to provide support consistent with the $2

billion budget for rate-of-return territories.

image36-00.jpg612x792

Page2-The Honorable Amy Klobuchar

I look forward to working with you as we continue the work of reforming and

modernizing the universal service fund high-cost program - as well as other components of the

Fund - to ensure that all Americans have access to robust voice and broadband services.

.

I appreciate your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further

assistance.

image37-00.jpg612x792

FEOEneI CounaUN ICATIoNs coM M ISSIoN

WASHINGToN

OFFICE OF

THE CHAIRMAN

June24,2074

The Honorable Al Franken

United States Senate

309 Hart Senate Offrce Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Franken:

Thank you for your letter supporting the implementation of a universal service

mechanism to allow rural rate-of-return carriers to ieceive support for broadband-only lines.

This is one of the key issues that the Commission raised in the Connect America Fund Further

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that we adopted in April. Your views on this matter are very

important, and will be included in the t..ord of the proceeding and considered as part of the

Commission's review.

The universal service program is one of the most important tools at our disposal to ensure

that consumers and businesses in rural America have the same opportunities as their urban and

suburban counterparts to be active participants in the United StaLs of the 21st century. we are

focused on updating the universal sirvice program to ensure that we are delivering the best

possible voice and broadband experiences to rural America within the confines of our Connect

America budget, *hil-" providing increased certainty and predictability for all carriers and a

climate for increased broadband expansion. I agree with you that we need to ensure the

universal service support mechanisms are serving their iniended purpose of ..increas[ing]

!r9{!and deployment, facilitat[ing] transition to new communiCations technologies, and

bridg[ing] the digital divide."

To that end, in April, the Commission voted to move forward with phase II of the

Connect America Fund for price-cap carriers, and took several steps to improve the climate for

broadband investment in areas served by incumbent rate-of-return carriers. Most notably, we

eliminated the Quantile Regression Analysis benchmarks rule because it was not serving its

intended purpose. In addition, in the above-mentioned Further Notice,the Commission

proposed to adopt a stand-alone broadband funding mechanism for rate-of-retum carriers and

sought comment on how to support the deploymenJ of broadband-capable networks by rate-of-

retum carriers within the current budget for the program. We welcome a dialogue regarding how

a standalone broadband mechanism could be structured to provide support con-sistent with the $2

billion budget for rate-o f-return territories.

image38-00.jpg612x792

Page 2-The Honorable Al Franken

I look forward to working with you as we continue the work of reforming and

modernizing the universal service fund high-cost program - as well as other components of the

Fund - to ensure that all Americans have access to robust voice and broadband services.

I appreciate your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further

assistance.

image39-00.jpg612x792

FEDERAL CoMMUNIcATIoNS CoMMISSIoN

WASHINGToN

OFFICE OF

June24,2014

THE CHAIRMAN

The Honorable Tom Harkin

United States Senate

731 Hartsenate Offrce Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Harkin:

Thank you for your letter supporting the implementation of a universal service

mechanism to allow rural rate-of-return carriers to ieceive support for broadband-only lines.

This is one of the key issues that the Commission raised inthi Connect America Fund Further

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that we adopted in April. Your views on this matter are very

important, and will be included in the record of the proceeding and considered as part of the

Commission's review.

The universal service program is one of the most important tools at our disposal to ensure

that consumers and businesses in rural America have the satne opportunities as their urban and

suburban counterparts to be active participants in the United Staiei of the 21st century. We are

focused on updating the universal service program to ensure that we are delivering the best

possible voice and broadband experiences to rural America within the confine, of o* Connect

America budget, while providing increased certainty and predictability for all carriers and a

climate for increased broadband expansion. I agree with you that we need to ensure the

universal service support mechanisms are serving their intended pu{pose of "increas[ing]

broadband deployment, facilitat[ing] transition to new communications technologies, ani

bridg[ing] the digital divide,"

To that end, in April, the Commission voted to move forward with Phase II of the

Connect America Fund for price-cap carriers, and took several steps to improve the climate for

broadband investmenl in areas served by incumbent rate-of-retum carriers. Most notably, we

eliminated the Quantile Regression Analysis benchmarks rule because it was not serving its

intended pu{pose. In addition, in the above-mentioned Further Notice,the Commission

proposed to adopt a stand-alone broadband funding mechanism for rate-of-return carriers and

sought comment on how to support the deployment of broadband-capable networks by rate-of-

return carriers within the current budget for the program. We welcome a dialogue regarding how

a standalone broadband mechanism could be structured to provide support coniirteni wittr itre $Z

billion budget for rate-of-return territories.

image40-00.jpg612x792

Page2-The Honorable Tom Harkin

I look forward to working with you as we continue the work of reforming and

modernizing the universal service fund high-cost program - as well as other components of the

Fund - to ensure that all Americans have access to robust voice and broadband services.

I appreciate your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further

assistance.

Tom Wheeler

image41-00.jpg612x792

FEDERAL CoMMUNICATIoNS CoMMISSIoN

WASHINGToN

OFFICE OF

THE CHAIRMAN

Iune24,2014

The Honorable Tim Scott

United States Senate

167 Russell Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Scott:

Thank you for your letter supporting the implementation of a universal service

mechanism to allow rural rate-of-return carriers to ieceive support for broadband-only lines.

This is one of the key issues that the Commission raised inthe Connect America Fund Further

Notice of Proposed Rulemakingthat we adopted in April. Your views on this matter are very

important, and will be included in the record of the proceeding and considered as part of the

Commission's review.

The universal service program is one of the most important tools at our disposal to ensure

that consumers and businesses in rural America have the same opportunities as their urban and

suburban counterparts to be active participants in the United StaG of the 2lst century. We are

focused on updating the universal service program to ensure that we are delivering thl best

possible voice and broadband experiences to rural America within the confines of ou, Connect

America budget, while providing increased certainty and predictability for all carriers and a

climate for increased broadband expansion. I agreewith you that we need to ensure the

universal service support mechanisms are serving their iniended purpose of ..increas[ing]

broadband deploymenl, facilitat[ing] transition to new communications technologies, ani

bridg[ing] the digital divide.,,

To that end, in April, the Commission voted to move forward with phase II of the

Connect America Fund for price-cap carriers, and took several steps to improve the climate for

broadband investment in areas served by incumbent rate-of-return carriers. Most notably, we

eliminated the Quantile Regression Analysis benchmarks rule because it was not serving its

intended purpose. In addition, in the above-mentioned Further Notice,the Commission

proposed to adopt a stand-alone broadband funding mechanism for rate-of-retum carriers and

sought comment on how to support the deployment of broadband-capable networks by rate-of-

return carriers within the current budget for the program. We welcome a dialogue regarding how-

a standalone broadband mechanism could be structured to provide support con-sisteni wittr ttre $Z

billion budget for rate-o f-return territorie s.

image42-00.jpg612x792

Page2-The Honorable Tim Scott

I look forward to working with you as we continue the work of reforming and

modernizing the universal service fund high-cost program - as well as other components of the

Fund - to ensure that all Americans have access to robust voice and broadband services.

.

I appreciate your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further

assistance.

Sincerely,

image43-00.jpg612x792

FEDERAL coMM UN ICATIoNS coM M ISSIoN

wASHINGToN

OFFICE OF

THE CHAIRMAN

June 24,2014

The Honorable Tim Johnson

United States Senate

136 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Johnson:

Thank you for your letter supporting the implementation of a universal service

mechanism to allow rural rate-of-return

This is one of the key issues that the commission raised in the connect America Fund Further

"aoiers to ieceive support for broadband-only lines.

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking thatwe adopte,cl in aprit. your views on this matter are very

Lt;lilffh}l#,,,.T.includei in the record^ orthe pioceeding and consid;;;l ". parr orthe

The universal sen'ice program is one of the most important tools at our disposal to ensure

that consumers and businesses in"rural America have the *.

opportunities as their urban and

focused on updating the universal serviccp.ogru, io ;;;

suburban counterparts to be active participants in the urii"a states of the z iri ""rtrry. we are

that we are delivering the best

possible voice and broadband experiences to rural America within the confines of our connect

America budget, *hil-t providing inereased c_ertainty urJp."oi"tability for all carriers and a

climate for increased brbadband-expansion. I agree with lzou that we need to ensure the

universal service support mechanisms are serviig their iniended purpose of ..increas[ing]

broadband deployment, facilitat[ing] transition tJnew communications technologies, and

bridg[ing] the digital divide.',

To that end, in April, the commission voted to move forward with phase II of the

connect America Fund for price-cap carriers, and took severar steps to improve the climate for

broadband investment in areas r.*.d by incumbe"t.ut.-or-r.turn carrierr. Mort notably, we

eliminated the Quantile Regression Analysis benchmark, *t. because it *a, not serving its

intended purpose' In addition, in the above-mentioned Further Notice,the commission

proposed to adopt a stand-alone broadbandirnding mechanism for rate-of-return carriers and

sought comment on how to support the deploym"ni oruroudbund-capuble networks by rate-of-

retum carriers within the current budget for trr" p.ogru-. *i *tro-e a dialogue regarding how

a standalone broadband mechanism Jould u. .t*"ti.Jin irouia. support consistent with the $2

billion budget for rate-o f-return territori es.

image44-00.jpg612x792

Page 2-The Honorable Tim Johnson

I look forward to working with you as we continue the work of reforming and

modernizing the universal servic-e funaiigtr-co* p.g.u*- as weil as other components of the

Fund - to ensure that all Americans have access to robust voice and broadband services.

u.rir,*I.Slpreciate

your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further

image45-00.jpg612x792

FEDERAL CoM MUNICATIoNs CoM M ISSIoN

WASHINGToN

OFFICE OF

THE CHAIRMAN

June24,2014

The Honorable Tammy Baldwin

United States Senate

717 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Baldwin:

Thank you for your letter supporting the implementation of a universal service

This is one of the key issues that the commission raised in-tie connect America Fund Further

mechanism to allow rural rate-of-reiurn "4"1t" i"."i* *pport for broadband-only lines.

Notice of Proposed Rulemakingthat we adopte_dln dril:-i;

views on thismattl. *

r.ry

fifllffih1:x','.T. incrudeiin th" rlco.a'orthe priceeaios *a consiaer"J* ,* of the

The universal service program is oneof the most important tools at our disposal to ensure

that consumers and businesses in-ru*i America have the ,ui. oppo.tunities as their urban and

suburban counterparts to be active particlpants in the unitedstates of the 2lst century. we are

focused on updating the universar siEruice progftrm to ensure that we are delivering the best

possible voice and broadband experiences to rural america within the confines of our connect

America budget' whilg nroviainj increased c_ertainty and predictability for all carriers and a

climate for increaseo uroaauana'"*proJor. I agree with you that we need to ensure the

universal service support mechanisms are serving their iniend.d p.r.por" of ,.increas[ing]

il#iili,i:riiJ,[i11,1::1",ting1 tr;ition to',.*,o.*u-,iJution. t..i,noiofi, *a

To that end' in April, the commission voted to move forward with phase II ofthe

connect America Fund for p.i""-"up .*.iers, and took several steps to improve the climate for

broadband investment in arias **Ja uv ircumbent rutr-or-r.tu* carriers. Most notably, we

eliminated the Quantile-Regression ao-iy.is urn.t*.rt, ,ut'.i.*ure it was not serving its

intended purpose' In addition, in trr" u-uo'ur-mentioned Furthei Notice,thecommission

proposed to adopt a stand-alone broadbandfundint;;;#i;; for rate-of-return caniers and

sought comment on how to support the deploym.ni oruroJu*a-"uprule networks by rate-of-

retum carriers within the current budget rol tri. prog* w. *rr.o.e a dialogue regarding how

billion budget for rate-of-return trril;;;.

a standalone broadband mechanism i"ra u" rair.iiiJio;;";id. support consistent with the $2

image46-00.jpg612x792

Page 2-The Honorable Tammy Baldwin

I look forward to working ryrth you as we continue the work of reforming and

modernizing the universal servici fund high-cort prolru* - as werr as other.ofpo*nt, of the

Fund - to ensure that all Americans have access to robust voice and broadband services.

I appreciate your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further

assistance.

image47-00.jpg612x792

FEDERAL CoMMUNICATIoNS coMMISSIoN

\MASHINGToN

OFFICE OF

rHE CHAIRMAN

J:ur;re24,2014

The Honorable Saxby Chambliss

United States Senate

416 Russell Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Chambliss:

Thank you for your letter supporting the implementation of a universal service

mechanism to allow rural rate-of-retum carriers to ieceive support for broadband-only lines.

This is one of the key issues that the Commission raised inthe Connect America Fund Further

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that we adopted in April. Your views on this matter are very

important, and will be included in the reco.d of the proceeding and considered as part of the

Commission's review.

The universal service program is one of the most important tools at our disposal to ensure

that consumers and businesses in rural America have the same opportunities as their urban and

suburban counterparts to be active participants in the United Staies of the 21st century. We are

focused on updating the universal service program to ensure that we are delivering thl best

possible voice and broadband experiences to rural America within the confine, of o* Connect

America budget. while providing increased certainty and predictability for all carriers and a

climate for increased broadband expansion. I agreewith you that we need to ensure the

universal service support mechanisms are serving their iniended pu{pose of ,.increas[ing]

lroadband deployment, facilitat[ing] transition to new communiCations technologies, and

bridg[ing] the digital divide."

To that end, in April, the Commission voted to move forward with phase II of the

Connect America Fund for price-cap carriers, and took several steps to improve the climate for

broadband investment in areas served by incumbent rate-of-return carriers. Most notably, we

eliminated the Quantile Regression Analysis benchmarks rule because it was not serving its

intended purpose. In addition, in the above-mentioned Further Notice,the Commission

proposed to adopt a stand-alone broadband funding mechanism for rate-of-return carriers and

sought comment on how to support the deployment of broadband-capable networks by rate-of-

return carriers within the current budget for the program. We welcome a dialogue regarding how

a standalone broadband mechanism could be structured to provide support .onlrirt"ni with the $2

billi on budget for rate-of-return territorie s.

image48-00.jpg612x792

Page 2-The Honorable Saxby Chambliss

I look forward to working with you as we continue the work of reforming and

modernizing the universal service fund rrigrr-cort p.og.um - as well as other components of the

Fund - to ensure that all Americans have access to robust voice and broadband services.

your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further

"r.rurrl3lpreciate

image49-00.jpg612x792

FEDERAL CoUuUNIcATIoNS coMMISSIoN

WASH INGToN

OFFICE OF

THE CHAIRMAN

June24,2014

The Honorable Roy Blunt

United States Senate

260 Russell Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Blunt:

Thank you for your letter supporting the implementation of a universal service

mechanism to allow rural rate-of-return carriers to ieceive support for broadband-only lines.

This is one of the key issues that the Commission raised in the Connect America Fund Further

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking thatwe adopted in April. Your views on this matter are very

important, and will be included in the r".ord of the pioceeding and considered as part of the

Commission's review.

The universal service program is one of the most important tools at our disposal to ensure

that consumers and businesses in rural America have the strme opportunities as their urban and

suburban counterparts to be active participants in the United Staies of the 2lst century. We are

focused on updating the universal service program to ensure that we are delivering the best

possible voice and broadband experiences to rural America within the confines of our Connect

America budget, while providing increased certainty and predictability for all carriers and a

climate for increased broadband expansion. I agreawith you that we need to ensure the

universal service support mechanisms are serving their iniended purpose of ..increas[ing]

!r9{!and deployment, facilitat[ing] transition to new communications technologies, and

bridg[ing] the digital divide.,,

To that end, in April, the Commission voted to move forward with phase II of the

Connect America Fund for price-cap carriers, and took several steps to improve the climate for

broadband investment in areas served by incumbent rate-of-return carriers. Most notably, we

eliminated the Quantile Regression Analysis benchmarks rule because it was not serving its

intended pufpose. In addition, in the above-mentioned Further Notice,the Commission

proposed to adopt a stand-alone broadband funding mechanism for rate-of-return carriers and

sought comment on how to support the deploymeni of broadband-capable networks by rate-of-

return carriers within the current budget for the program. We welcome a dialogue regarding how

a standalone broadband mechanism could be structured to provide support con-sistent with the $2

billion budget for rate-of-return territories.

image50-00.jpg612x792

Page 2-The Honorable Roy Blunt

I look forward to working with you as we continue the work of reforming and

modernizing the universal service fund high-cort p.ogra--i as well as other components of the

Fund - to ensure that all Americans have access to robust voice and broadband services.

I appreciate your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further

ffit

assistance.

image51-00.jpg612x792

FEDERAL CoMMUNIcATIoNS CoMM ISSIoN

WASHINGToN

OFFICE OF

THE CHAIRMAN

June24,2014

The Honorable Ron Wyden

United States Senate

221 Dirksen Senate Offrce Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Wyden:

Thank you for your letter supporting the implementation of a universal service

mechanism to allow rural rate-of-reium carriers to ieceive support for broadband-only lines.

This is one of the key issues that the Commission raised in the connect America Fund Further

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that we adopted in April. Your views on this matter are very

fll:fl!:i:lll

be included in the .".ord of the proceeding and considered as parr of the

Lommlsston's revlew.

The universal service program is one of the most important tools at our disposal to ensure

that consumers and businessei inhral America have the same opportunities as their urban and

yburbg counterparts to be active participants in the United Staies of the 21st century. we are

focused on updating the universal service program to ensure that we are delivering the best

possible voice and broadband experiences to rural America within the confines of our Connect

America budget, *hil-" providing increased certainty and predictability for all carriers and a

climate for increased broadband expansion. I agree with yrou that we need to ensure the

universal service support mechanisms are serviig their iniended purpose of ..increas[ingl

.urg{}ana deployment, facilitat[ing] transition to new communiCations technologies, and

bridg[ing] the digital divide.,'

To that end, in April, the Commission voted to move forward with phase II of the

Connect America Fund for price-cap carriers, and took several steps to i-prou. the climate for

broadband investment in areas t"t .d by incumbent rate-of-return carriers" Most notably, we

eliminated the Quantile Regression Anilysis benchmark, *t. because it was not serving its

intended purpose. In addition, in the above-mentioned Further Notice,the Commission

proposed to adopt a stand-alone broadband funding mechanism for rate-of-return carriers and

sought comment on how to support the deploymen-t of broadband-capable networks by rate-of-

return carriers within the current budget for the program. We welcome a dialogue regarding how

a standalone broadband mechanism could be structired to provide support con"sistent with the $2

billion budget for rate-of-return territories.

image52-00.jpg612x792

Page2-The Honorable Ron Wyden

I look forward to working with you as we continue the work of reforming and

modernizing the universal service fund high-cost program - as well as other components of the

Fund - to ensure that all Americans have access to robust voice and broadband services.

I appreciate your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further

assistance.

image53-00.jpg612x792

FEDERAL CoMMUNICATIoNS CoMM ISSIoN

wASHINGToN

OFFICE OF

THE CHAIRMAN

June24,2014

The Honorable Ron Johnson

United States Senate

328Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Johnson:

Thank you for your letter supporting the implementation of a universal service

mechanism to allow rural rate-of-return carriers to ieceive support for broadband-only lines.

This is one of the key issues that the commission raised in the connect America Fund Further

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that we adopted in April. your views on this matter are very

important, and will be included in the r..ord- of the proceeding and considered as part of the

Commission's review.

The universal service program is one of the most important tools at our disposal to ensure

that consumers and businesses in-rural America have the same opportunities as their urban and

suburban counterparts to be active participants in the u"it"a Staies of the 21st century. we are

focused on updating the universal service program to ensure that we are delivering the best

possible voice and broadband experiences to rural America within the confines of our Connect

America budget, *hil-. providing increased certainty anJ predictability for alicaniers and a

climate for increased broadbandixpansion. I agree witr, |o, that we need to ensure the

universal service support mechanisms are serving their iniended purpose of ,,increas[ing]

.urg-aalano deployment, facilitat[ing] transition to'new communiCations technologies. and

bridg[ing] the digital divide."

To that end, in April, the Commission voted to move forward with phase II of the

connect America Fund for price-cap carriers, and took several steps to improre the climate for

broadband investment in areas t"*.d by incumbent rate-of-return carriers. Most notably, we

eliminated the Quantile Regression Analysis benchmarks rule because it was not serving its

intended pu{pose. In addition, in the above-mentioned Further Notice,the Commission

proposed to adopt a stand-alone broadband funding mechanism for rate-of-retum carriers and

sought comment on how to support the deploymenJ of broalb*d-"upuble networks by rate-of-

return carriers within the current budget for the program. we welcome a dialogue regarding how

a standalone broadband mechanism could be structired to provide support con"sistent with the $2

billion budget for rate-of-return territories.

image54-00.jpg612x792

Page 2-The Honorable Ron Johnson

I look forward to working with you as we continue the work of reforming and

modernizing the universal servici nmo trigtr-cost prolrarn- as well as other components of the

Fund - to ensure that all Americans have access to robust voice and broadband services.

ur.irt*IJ:preciate

your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further

image55-00.jpg612x792

FEDERAL CoMMUNICATIoNs CoMM ISSIoN

wASHINGToN

OFFICE OF

THE CHAIRMAN

June24,2014

The Honorable Rob portman

United States Senate

448 Russell Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator portman:

Thank you for your letter supporting the implementation of a universal service

mechanism to allow rural rate-of-retiirn cu.rie.s to ieceive support for broadband-only lines.

This is one of the key issues that the commission raised in the Connect America Fund Further

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking thatwe adopted i, afrir. your views on this matter are very

Ltililffh}3;l'Lf.includeJin the record- of the proceeding and consid"..a u, part orthe

The universal service program is one of the most important tools at our disposal to ensure

that consumers and businesses in-rural America have the same opportunities as their urban and

suburban counterparts to be active participants in the uri[a states of the 2lst-century. we are

focused on updating the universal serviceprog.u- io il;;" that we are delivering the best

possible voice and broadband experiences to rural America within the confines of our connect

America budget, *hil." providing increased certainty anJfreaictability for all carriers and a

climate for increased broadband-expansior. I ug;;.;th |ou that we need to ensure the

universal service support mechanisms are serving their iniended purpose of ,,increas[ing]

broadband deploymenl, facilitat[ing] transition tJnew communications technologies, and

bridg[ing] the digital divide.,,

To that end, in April, the commission voted to move forward with phase II of the

connect America Fund for price-cap carriers, and took serrerat steps to improve the climate for

broadband investment in areas t.*.d by incumbent rate-otreturn carriers. Most notably, we

eliminated the Quantile Regression Analysis benchmark, *t. because it was nlt serving its

intended purpose' In addition, in the above-mentioned Further Notice,the commission

proposed to adopt a stand-alone broadbandftnding mechanism for rate-of-return carriers and

sought comment on how to support the deploym*nj oiuro"dbund-"rpuble networks by rate-of-

return carriers within the current budget.foi the prog.arn wL *t"o-e a dialogue regarding how

a standalone broadband mechanism ciuld be structireJio provide support consistent with the $2

billion budget for rate-o f-return territories.

image56-00.jpg612x792

Page 2-The Honorable Rob portman

I look forward to working with you as we continue the work of reforming and

modernizing the universal service fund high-cost program - as well as other components of the

Fund - to ensure that all Americans have access to robust voice and broadband services.

I appreciate your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further

assistance.

Sincerelv- ,

/

/r/

-

J)

a*4w

'

'

t

--//ll

.

Tom Wheeler

image57-00.jpg612x792

FEDERAL CoMMUNIcATIoNS coMMISSIoN

WASHINGToN

OFFICE OF

THE CHAIRMAN

June 24,2014

The Honorable Richard Burr

United States Senate

217 Russell Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Burr:

Thank you for your letter supporting the implementation of a universal service

mechanism to allow rural rate-of-return carriers to receive support for broadband-only lines.

This is one of the key issues that the Commission raised inthe Connect America Fund Further

Notice of Proposed Rulemakingthatwe adopted in April. Your views on this matter are very

important, and will be included in the record of the proceeding and considered as part of the

Commission's review.

The universal service program is one of the most important tools at our disposal to ensure

that consumers and businesses in rural America have the same opportunities as their urban and

suburban counterparts to be active participants in the United States of the 21st century. We are

focused on updating the universal service program to ensure that we are delivering thl best

possible voice and broadband experiences to rural America within the confines of ou, Connect

America budget, while providing increased certainty and predictability for all carriers and a

climate for increased broadband expansion. I agree with you that we need to ensure the

universal service support mechanisms are serving their intended purpose of "increas[ing]

broadband deployment, facilitat[ing] transition to new communiCations technologies, ani

bridg[ing] the digital divide."

To that end, in April, the Commission voted to move forward with phase II of the

Connect America Fund for price-cap carriers, and took several steps to improve the climate for

broadband investment in areas served by incumbent rate-of-return carriers. Most notably, we

eliminated the Quantile Regression Analysis benchmarks rule because it was not serving its

intended purpose. In addition, in the above-mentioned Further Notice,the Commission

proposed to adopt a stand-alone broadband funding mechanism for rate-of-return carriers and

sought comment on how to support the deployment of broadband-capable networks by rate-of-

return carriers within the current budget for the program. We welcome a dialogue regarding how

a standalone broadband mechanism could be structured to provide support "on.irteri with the $2

bi ll ion budget for rate-o f-return territories.

image58-00.jpg612x792

Page2-The Honorable Richard Burr

I look forward to working with you as we continue the work of reforming and

modernizing the universal service funa trign-cost prograrnl as well as other components of the

Fund - to ensure that all Americans have access to robust voice and broadband services.

your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further

"r.rr,urlSlpreciate

image59-00.jpg612x792

FEoennI CoMMUNIcATIoNS coMMISSIoN

WASHINGToN

OFFICE OF

THE CHAIRMAN

June 24,2014

The Honorable Pat Roberts

United States Senate

109 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Roberts:

Thank you for your letter supporting the implementation of a universal service

mechanism to allow rural rate-of-return carriers to ieceive support for broadband-only lines.

This is one of the key issues that the Commission raised in the Connect America Fund Further

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking thatwe adopted in April. Your views on this matter are very

important, and will be included in the re"ord of the proceeding and considered as part of the

Commission's review.

The universal service program is one of the most important tools at our disposal to ensure

that consumers and businesses in rual America have the same opportunities as their urban and

suburban counterparts to be active participants in the United Staies of the 2l st century. We are

focused on updating the universal service program to ensure that we are delivering ttre best

possible voice and broadband experiences to rural America within the confine. of o* Connect

America budget, while providing increased certainty and predictability for all carriers and a

climate for increased broadband expansion. I agreewith you that we need to ensure the

universal service support mechanisms are serving their iniended purpose of ..increas[ing]

broadband deployment, facilitat[ing] transition to new communications technologies, and

bridg[ing] the digital divide.',

To that end, in April, the Commission voted to move forward with phase II of the

Connect America Fund for price-cap carriers, and took several steps to improve the climate for

broadband investment in areas served by incumbent rate-of-return carriers. Most notably. we

eliminated the Quantile Regression Analysis benchmarks rule because it was not serving its

intended purpose. In addition, in the above-mentioned Further Notice,the Commission

proposed to adopt a stand-alone broadband funding mechanism for rate-of-return carriers and

sought comment on how to support the deployment of broadband-capable networks by rate-of-

return carriers within the current budget for the program. We welcome a dialogue regarding how

a standalone broadband mechanism could be structured to provide support con-sisteni with the $2

bi llion budget for rate- of-return territories.

image60-00.jpg612x792

Page 2-The Honorable pat Roberts

I look forwald to working with you as we continue the work of reforming and

modernizing the universal servic-e fund trigh-cort p-g.;i

Fund - to ensure that all Americans huu" u"".rs to robust voice and broadband services.

as welr as other components of the

ur.,.,*lSloreciate

your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further

image61-00.jpg612x792

FEoeRal CoMMUNTcATtoNS CoM M rssloN

WASH TNGToN

OFFICE OF

THE CHAIRMAN

June24,2014

The Honorable Orrin Hatch

United States Senate

104 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Hatch:

Thank you for your letter supporting the implementation of a universal service

mechanism to allow rural rate-of-return carriers to ieceive support for broadband-only lines.

This is one of the key issues that the Commission raised in the Connect America Fund Further

Notice o'f Proposed Rulemaking thatwe adopted in April. Your views on this matter are very

important, and will be included in the r".ord of the proceeding and considered as part of the

Commission's review.

The universal service program is one of the most important tools at our disposal to ensure

that consumers and businesses in rural America have the same opportunities as their urban and

suburban counterparts to be active participants in the United Staies of the 2lst century. we are

focused on updating the universal service program to ensure that we are delivering the best

America budget, while providing increased certainty and predictability for all carriers and a

possible voice and broadband experiences to rural America within th" "orn.r", of our Connect

climate for increased broadband expansion. I agree with you that we need to ensure the

universal service support mechanisms are serving their iniended purpose of ,.increas[ing]

frg{-!an! deployment, facilitat[ing] transition to new communiCations technologies. and

bridg[ing] the digital divide.,,

To that end, in April, the Commission voted to move forward with phase II of the

Connect America Fund for price-cap carriers, and took several steps to improve the climate for

broadband investment in areas served by incumbent rate-of-return carriers. Mo.t notably, we

eliminated the Quantile Regression Analysis benchmarks rule because it was not serving its

intended pu{pose. In addition, in the above-mentioned Further Notice,the Commission

proposed to adopt a stand-alone broadband funding mechanism for rate-of-return carriers and

sought comment on how to support the deployment of broadband-capable networks by rate-of-

retum carriers within the current budget for the program. We welcome a dialogue regarding how

a standalone broadband mechanism could be structured to provide support con-sistent with the $2

billion budget for rate-of-return territori es.

image62-00.jpg612x792

Page2-The Honorable Orrin Hatch

I look forward to working with you as we continue the work of reforming and

modernizing the universal service fund high-cost program - as well as other components of the

Fund - to ensure that all Americans have access to robust voice and broadband services.

.

I appreciate your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further

assistance.

#ht

Sincerelv- /

image63-00.jpg612x792

FEDERAL CoM M UN ICATIoNS coM M ISSIoN

WASHINGTON

OFFICE OF

THE CHAIRMAN

June 24,2014

The Honorable Mitch McConnell

United States Senate

317 Russell Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator McConnell:

Thank you for your letter supporting the implementation of a universal service

mechanism to allow rural rate-of-reiurn carriers to ieceive support for broadband-only lines.

This is one of the key issues that the Commission raised in the connect America Fund Further

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking thatwe adopted in April. your views on this matter are very

important, and will be included in the.".o.d- of the proceeding and consid".Ju, part of the

Commission's review.

The universal service program is one of the most important tools at our disposal to ensure

that consumers and businessei in-rural America have the same opportunities as their urban and

suburban counterparts to be active participants in the u"ii"a staies of the 2lst century. we are

focused on updating the universal service program to ensure that we are delivering the best

possible voice and broadband experiences to rural America within the confines of our Connect

America budget, *hil-. providing increased certainty anJpredictability ro, uri.uoiers and a

climate for increased broadbandixpansion. t ug.." *ith iou that we need to ensure the

universal service support mechanisms are serviig their inlended purpose of ..increas[ing]

broadband deploymenl, facilitat[ing] transition tJ new communications technologies, and

bridg[ing] the digital divide.',

-

To that end, in April, the Commission voted to move forward with phase II of the

Connect America Fund for price-cap carriers, and took several steps to i-pror" the climate for

broadband investment in areas te*.d by incumbent rate-of-retum carriers. Most notably, we

eliminated the Quantile Regression Analysis benchmarks rule because it was not se6,,ing its

intended purpose. In addition, in the above-mentioned Further Notice,the Commission

proposed to adopt a stand-alone broadband funding mechanism for rate-of-return carriers and

sought comment on how to support the deploymenf of broadband-capable networks by rate-of-

retum carriers within the current budget.for the program. we welcome a dialogue regarding how

a standalone broadband mechanism could be structired to provide support con"sistent with the $2

bill ion budget for rate-o f-return territories.

image64-00.jpg612x792

Page 2-The Honorable Mitch McConnell

I look forward to working with you as we continue the work of reforming and

modemizing the universal servic"e funoiigh-cost p.og.-am-- as weil as other components of the

Fund - to ensure that all Americans hurr" u"".rs to rotust voice and broadband services.

u.rrr,*lSlpreciate

your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further

image65-00.jpg612x792

FEDERAL CoMM UN ICATIoNS CoM M ISSIoN

WASHINGToN

OFFICE OF

THE CHAIRMAN

June 24,2074

The Honorable Mike Enzi

United States Senate

379A Russell Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

e

Dear SenatorEnzi:

Thank you for your letter supporting.the implementation of a universal service

mechanism to allow rural rate-of-reiurn carriers to receive support for broadband-only lines.

This is one of the key issues that the Commission..il;; the connect America Fund Further

Notice of Proposed Rulemakingthat we adopted in ap.ir.- your views on thismatter are very

Uff*ffi}#:X,,,"T.included in the.""o.d- orthe priceeaing and consid;;; ",

parr orthe

The universal service program is one of the most important tools at our disposal to ensure

that consumers and businesses i,"*tui America have the *,n. opportunities as their urban and

suburban counterParts to be active participants in the u"i[a states orthe zisi century. we are

focused on updating the universut r.*i".'progru--io ;;;.

that we are delivering the best

possible voice and broadband experiences to rural America within the confines of our connect

America budget' *hil.t pro-viding increased c_e.tainty anJpredictability for all carriers and, a

climate for increased broadbandixpansion. I agree with you that we need to ensure the

universal service support mechanisms are serviig their iniended purpose of ..increas[ing]

H"#1tri,fl:'.:J,[i:t'"*'.'.',1"t[ing]iransition

tJ new communications technorodesl aia

To that end' in April, the commission voted to move forward with phase II of the

connect America Fund for price-cap caoi".r, and took several steps to improve the climate for

broadband investment in areas ."rr"a uy incumbent rui.-oio"trrn carriers. Most notably, we

eliminated the Quantile Regressio, analysis u"n"rr-*r., *t" because it *us ,ot serving its

intended purpose' In addit[n, in the ubou"--"ntioned Further Notice,the commission

proposed to adopt a stand-alone broadbandfunding.L.n*ir* for rate-of-return carriers and

return carriers within the current budget.foi trr" prog.u* iL *t"o.e a dialogue regarding horv

sought comment on how to support the deploym"ri "ri.*dburd-"apuble networks by rate-of-

a standalone broadband mechanism ciuld b. J;ffi;;io

billion budget for rate-of-retum territories.

i-ria" support consistent with the $2

image66-00.jpg612x792

Page 2-The Honorable Mike Enzi

I look forward to working with you as we continue the work of reforming and

modernizing the universal servic-e funo high-c";il;;;-

Fund - to ensure that all Americans h;" access to robust voice and broadband services.

as well as other components of the

your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further

"rrru"rt Slpreciate

image67-00.jpg612x792

FEDERAL CoMMUNICATIoNS CoMMISSIoN

WASHINGToN

OFFICE OF

June24,2014

THE CHAIRMAN

The Honorable Mike Crapo

United States Senate

239 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 2A510

Dear Senator Crapo:

Thank you for your letter supporting the implementation of a universal service

mechanism to allow rural rate-of-return carriers to ieceive support for broadband-only lines.

This is one of the key issues that the Commission raised inthe Connect America Fund Further

Notice of Proposed Rulemakingthatwe adopted in April. Your views on this matter are very

important, and will be included in the record of the proceeding and considered as part of the

Commission's review.

The universal service program is one of the most important tools at our disposal to ensure

that consumers and businesses in rural America have the same opportunities as their urban and

suburban counterparts to be active participants in the United States of the 2lst century. We are

focused on updating the universal service program to ensure that we are delivering thl best

possible voice and broadband experiences to rural America within the confine, of o* Connect

America budget, while providing increased certainty and predictability for all cariers and a

climate for increased broadband expansion. I agree with you that we need to ensure the

universal service support mechanisms are serving their iniended purpose of ..increas[ing]

broadband deployment, facilitat[ing] transition to new communications technologies, and

bridg[ing] the digital divide."

To that end, in April, the Commission voted to move forward with phase II of the

Connect America Fund for price-cap carriers, and took several steps to improve the climate for

broadband investment in areas served by incumbent rate-of-return carriers. Most notably, we

eliminated the Quantile Regression Analysis benchmarks rule because it was not serving its

intended purpose. In addition, in the above-mentioned Further Notice,the Commission

proposed to adopt a stand-alone broadband funding mechanism for rate-of-retum carriers and

sought comment on how to support the deployment of broadband-capable networks by rate-of-

return carriers within the current budget for the program. We welcome a dialogue regarding how

a standalone broadband mechanism could be structured to provide support .orrirt"ri with the $2

bill ion budget for rate-o f-return territories.

image68-00.jpg612x792

Page2-The Honorable Mike Crapo

I look forward to working with you as we continue the work of reforming and

modernizing the universal service fund high-cort p,og.u--i as well as other components of the

Fund - to ensure that all Americans have access to roLust voice and broadband services.

your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further

assistanlJ:preciate

Sincerely,

image69-00.jpg612x792

FEDERAL CoMMUNICATIoNS coM M ISSIoN

\MASHINGToN

OFFICE OF

THE CHAIRMAN

June24,2014

The Honorable Michael Bennet

United States Senate

458 Russell Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Bennet:

Thank you for your letter supporting the implementation of a universal service

mechanism to allow rural rate-of-reiurn carriers to ieceive support for broadband-only lines.

This is one of the key issues that the Commission raised in the Connect America Fund Further

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking thatwe adopted in April. Your views on this matter are very

)T1"I?l]111:lll o" included in the ."rord- of the proceeding and consid"r.J u, part of the

LOmmlsslon's revlew.

The universal service prograrn is one of the most important tools at our disposal to ensure

that consumers and businesses iniural America have the same opportunities as their urban and

yburbp counterparts to be active participants in the United States of the 2lst century.. we are

focused on updating the universal service program to rnrrr" that we are delivering the best

possible voice and broadband experiences to rural America within the confines of our Connect

America budget, *hil-. providing increased certainty and predictability for all cariers and a

climate for increased broadband expansion. I agree with |ou that we need to ensure the

universal service support mechanisms are serving their iniended purpose of ..increas[ingJ

frg-aalana deploymenl, facilitat[ing] transition to new communiiations technologies, and

bridg[ing] the digital divide.',

To that end, in April, the Commission voted to move forward with phase II of the

Connect America Fund for price-cap carriers. and took several steps to improve the climate for

broadband investment in areas seruJd by incumbent rate-of-return carriers. Most notably, we

eliminated the Quantile Regression Analysis benchmarks rule because it was not serving its

intended purpose. In addition, in the above-mentioned Further Notice,the Commission

proposed to adopt a stand-alone broadband funding mechanism for rate-of-retum carriers and

sought comment on how to support the deploymenJ of broadband-capable networks by rate-of-

return carriers within the current budget for the program^ We welcome a dialogue regarding how

a standalone broadband mechanism could be structired to provide support con"sistent with the $2

billion budget for rate-of-return territori es.

image70-00.jpg612x792

Page 2-The Honorable Michael Bennet

I look forward to working with you as we continue the work of refcrrming and

modernizing the universal servic-e fund high-c"J i;;;-

Fund - to ensure that all Americans have access to robust voice and broadband services.

as well as other components of the

urriuurlSlpreciate

your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further

image71-00.jpg612x792

Feoenel CoMMUNrcATtoNs CoMMrsstoN

WASHINGToN

OFFICE OF

THE CHAIRMAN

June24,2014

The Honorable Mark Udall

United States Senate

730 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Udall:

Thank you for your letter supporting the implementation of a universal service

mechanism to allow rural rate-of-return carriers to ieceive support for broadband-only lines.

This is one of the key issues that the Commission raised in the Connect America Fund Further

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking thatwe adopted in April. Your views on this matter are very

important, and will be included in the t".ord of the proceeding and considered as part of the

Commission's review.

The universal service program is one of the most important tools at our disposal to ensure

that consumers and businesses in rural America have the same opportunities as their urban and

yburbg counterparts to be active participants in the United StaG of the 2lst century. we are

focused on updating the universal service program to ensure that we are delivering the best

possible voice and broadband experiences to rural America within the confines of our Connect

America budget' whfle providing increased certainty and predictability for all carriers and a

climate for increased broadband expansion. I agree with you that we need to ensure the

universal service support mechanisms are serving their intended purpose of .,increas[ing]

broadband deployment, facilitat[ing] transition to new communications technologies, and

bridg[ing] the digital divide.,,

To that end, in April, the Commission voted to move forward with phase II of the

Connect America Fund for price-cap carriers, and took several steps to improve the climate for

broadband investment in areas served by incumbent rate-of-return carriers. Most notably, we

eliminated the Quantile Regression Analysis benchmarks rule because it was not serving its

intended purpose. In addition, in the above-mentioned Further Notice,the Commission

proposed to adopt a stand-alone broadband funding mechanism for rate-of-return carriers and

sought comment on how to support the deploymenJ of broadband-capable networks by rate-of-

return carriers within the cunent budget for the program. We welcome a dialogue regarding how

a standalone broadband mechanism could be structured to provide support con-sistent with the $2

bi llion budget for rate-o f-return territories.

image72-00.jpg612x792

Page2-The Honorable Mark Udall

I look forward to working with you as we continue the work of reforming and

modernizing the universal service fund high-cost program - as well as other components of the

Fund - to ensure that all Americans have access to robust voice and broadband services.

I appreciate your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further

assistance.

Sincerely,

image73-00.jpg612x792

FEOERIU COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

WASHINGToN

OFFICE OF

THE CHAIRMAN

June24,2014

The Honorable Mark Pryor

United States Senate

255 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Pryor:

Thank you for your letter supporting the implementation of a universal service

mechanism to allow rural rate-of-return carriers to receive support for broadband-only lines.

This is one of the key issues that the Commission raised in the Connect America Fund Further

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that we adopted in April. Your views on this matter are very

important, and will be included in the record of the proceeding and considered as part of the

Commission's review.

The universal service program is one of the most important tools at our disposal to ensure

that consumers and businesses in rural America have the same opportunities as their urban and

suburban counterparts to be active participants in the United States of the 21st century. We are

focused on updating the universal service program to ensure that we are delivering the best

possible voice and broadband experiences to rural America within the confines of our Connect

America budget, while providing increased certainty and predictability for all carriers and a

climate for increased broadband expansion. I agree with you that we need to ensure the

universal service support mechanisms are serving their intended purpose of "increas[ing]

broadband deployment, facilitat[ing] transition to new communications technologies, and

bridg[ing] the digital divide."

To that end, in April, the Commission voted to move forward with Phase II of the

Connect America Fund for price-cap carriers, and took several steps to improve the climate for

broadband investment in areas served by incumbent rate-of-return carriers. Most notably, we

eliminated the Quantile Regression Analysis benchmarks rule because it was not serving its

intended purpose. In addition, in the above-mentioned Further Notice, the Commission

proposed to adopt a stand-alone broadband funding mechanism for rate-of-return carriers and

sought comment on how to support the deployment of broadband-capable networks by rate-of-

return carriers within the current budget for the program. We welcome a dialogue regarding how

a standalone broadband mechanism could be structured to provide support consistent with the $2

billion budget for rate-of-return territories.

image74-00.jpg612x792

Page 2-The l{onorable Mark pryor

I look forward to working with you as we continue the work of reforming and

modernizing the universal service fund high-cost program - as well as other components of the

Fund - to ensure that all Americans have access to robust voice and broadband services.

.

I appreciate your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any funher

assistance.

Sincerely,

image75-00.jpg612x792

FEDERAL CoMMUNIcATIoNS coMMISSIoN

\^/ASHINGToN

OFFICE OF

THE CHAIRMAN

June24,2014

The Honorable Mark Begich

United States Senate

I I I Russell Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Begich:

Thank you for your letter supporting the implementation of a universal service

mechanism to allow rural rate-of-return carriers to ieceive support for broadband-only lines.

This is one of the key issues that the Commission raised inthe Connect America Fund Further

Notice of Proposed Rulemakingthatwe adopted in April. Your views on this matter are very

important, and wjll be included in the record of the proceeding and considered as part of the

Commission's review.

The universal service program is one of the most important tools at our disposal to ensure

that consumers and businesses in rural America have the same opportunities as their urban and

suburban counterparts to be active participants in the lJnited States of the 2l st century. We are

focused on updating the universal service program to ensure that we are delivering the best

possible voice and broadband experiences to rural America within the confines of our Connect

America budget, while providing increased certainty and predictability for all carriers and a

climate for increased broadband expansion. I agree with you that we need to ensure the

universal service support mechanisms are serving their intended purpose of ..increas[ing]

]rr9{!and deployment, facilitat[ing] transition to new comm.uniCations technologies, and

bridg[ing] the digital divide.',

To that end, in April, the Commission voted to move forward with phase II of the

Connect America Fund for price-cap carriers, and took several steps to improve the climate for

broadband investment in areas served by incumbent rate-of-returrrcarriers. Most notably, we

eliminated the Quantile Regression Analysis benchmarks rule because it was not serving its

intended purpose. In addition, in the above-mentioned Further Notice,the Commission

proposed to adopt a stand-alone broadband funding mechanism for rate-of-return carriers and

sought comment on how to support the deployment of broadband-capable networks by rate-of-

return carriers within the current budget for the program. We welcome a dialogue regarding how

a standalone broadband mechanism could be structured to provide support conlsistent with the $2

bill ion budget for rate-o f-return territorie s.

image76-00.jpg612x792

Page2-The Honorable Mark Begich

I look forward to working with you as we continue the work of reforming and

modernizing the universal service fund high-cost program - as well as other components of the

Fund - to ensure that all Americans have access to robust voice and broadband services.

your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further

asslstance.

^..,^.^-llrpreciate

image77-00.jpg612x792

FEDERAL coMMUNICATIoNS CoMM ISSIoN

wASHINGToN

OFFICE OF

THE CHAIRMAN

June24,2014

The Honorable Lisa Murkowski

United States Senate

709 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Murkowski:

Thank you for your letter supporting.the implementation of a universal service

mechanism to allow rural rate-of-reiurn cuoi"., to receive support for broadband-only lines.

This is one of the key issues that the Commission *ir.o in the connect America Fund Further

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking thatwe adopted in aprir.- your views on tti, -utter are very

#';l,Xffh$];llf included in the r".ord-orthe proceeding and consid"i"a u. part of the

The universal service program is one of the most important tools at our disposal to ensure

that consumers and businesses in"rural America have the *"

opportunities as their urban and

focused on updating the universat se.uice p.";;;;; ;;;;;. that we are delivering the best

suburban counterparts to be active participants in the u"ii"a staG of the 2isi-c"ntury. we are

possible voice and broadband experiences to rural America within the confines of our connect

America budget' *hil." providing increased c_ertainty urJpr"ai.tability for all carriers and a

climate for increased broadband-expansion. I agree with you that we need to ensure the

universal service support mechanisms are serving their iniended purpose of ,.increas[ing]

broadband deploymenl, facilitat[ing] transition tJnew communications technologies, and

bridg[ing] the digital divide.,,

To that end, in April, the commission voted to move forward with phase II of the

connect America Fund for price-cap carriers, una toot ,Lu"ral steps to improve the climate for

broadband investment in areas tt*"d b,v incumbent rate-of-return carriers. Most notably, we

eliminated the Quantile Regression Analysis benchmark. ,.,t. because it *ur rlt serving its

intended purpose' In addit[n, in the ubou.--"ntioned Further Notice,the commission

proposed to adopt a stand-alone broadband funding -..h*irrn for rate-of-return carriers and

sought comment on how to support the deploym"nj orir*aband-capable networks by rate-oi

retum carriers within the current budget.foi,rr. progrr*-#" *t"o-e a dialogue regarding how

bi llion budget for rate-of-retum territories.

a standalone broadband mechanism c-ould u" r,*"iii"Jio iroria" support consistent with the $2

H

image78-00.jpg612x792

Page 2-The Honorable Lisa Murkowski

I look forward to working with you as we continue the work of reforming and

modernizing the universal servic-e fund high-cor, p-g;;-

Fund - to ensure that all Americans h;. access to robust voice and broadband services.

as well as other components of the

urrirt*I.3:preciate

your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further

Sincerely,

image79-00.jpg612x792

FEDERAL CoM M uN tcATroNS CoM M tsstoN

wASHINGToN

OFFICE OF

THE CHAIRMAN

June 24,2014

The Honorable Lindsey Graham

United States Senate

260 Russell Senate Office Building

Q

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Graham:

Thank you for your letter supporting.the implementation of a universal service

mechanism to allow rural rate-of-return ca.rie.s to ieceive support for broadband-only lines.

This is one of the key issues ttrat tne bommissionrai;;;; the Connect America Fund Further

lotice of Proposed Rulemakingthat we adopted in Ap;il:' your view, o, tt i, matter are very

HHIffiI#l;l','"T. included in the .."o.d- of the p.i"".aing and consid"r.a u, parr of the

The universal service program is one of the most important tools at our disposal to ensure

that consumers and businesses in"rurut America t uu. irr. ,u-. opportunities as their urban and

suburban counterparts to be active participants in the u"i[o stut", of the iisi century. we are

focused on updating the universal slrvicaprogrm to;;;

that we are delivering the best

possible voice and broadband experiences to rural America within the confines of our connect

America budget' *hjl.t providing increased certainty anJ;redictability for all carriers and a

climate for increased brbadbandixpansion. I agree with you that we nee.d to ensure the

universal service support mechanisms are serving their iniended purpose of ,.increas[ing]

il"#1?tri,fl:'.llJ,[il'i,*:'.1,"t1ingl iransition tJnew communications technorogies, and

To that end' in April, the commission voted to move forward with phase II of the

broadband investment in areas t"*Jaiy incumbent rate-or*etunr-carriers. Most notably, we

connect America Fund for price-cap "u.ri".r, ura toot ,Lrr"ral steps to improve the climate for

eliminated the Quantile Regression Analysis uenctrmart, *t" because i, *rr ro, serving its

intended purpose' In addition, in the above-mention ed, Further Notice,the commission

proposed to adopt a stand-alone broadbanaarndinfmerh*ir- for rate-of-retum carriers and

return carriers within the current budget for,ri. p-gru*-#" *"I.o-e a dialogue regarding how

sought comment on how to support the deploym"ri "rir*dbund-.apuble networks by rate-of-

billion budget for rate-o f-return territories.

a standalone broadband mechanism ciuld u" .t,ir.iir.Jio iroriae support consistent with the $2

image80-00.jpg612x792

Page 2-The Honorable Lindsey Graham

I look forward to working with you as we continue the work of reforming and

modemizing the universal servici fund high-cost program-- as wel as other components of the

Fund - to ensure that all Americans h*. u.".rs to robust voice and broadband services.

ru

assistanlJ:preciate

your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further

image81-00.jpg612x792

FEoERaI CoMMUNICATIoNS CoMMISSIoN

WASHINGToN

OFFICE OF

June24,2014

THE CHAIRMAN

The Honorable Kelly Ayotte

United States Senate

144 Russell Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Ayotte:

Thank you for your letter supporting the implementation of a universal service

mechanism to allow rural rate-of-return carriers to receive support for broadband-only lines.

This is one of the key issues that the Commission raised in the Connect America Funtd Further

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that we adopted in April. Your views on this matter are very

important, and will be included in the record of the proceeding and considered as part of the

Commission's review.

The universal service progfttm is one of the most important tools at our disposal to ensure

that consumers and businesses in rural America have the same opportunities as their urban and

suburban counterparts to be active participants in the United States of the 21st century. We are

focused on updating the universal service program to ensure that we are delivering the best

possible voice and broadband experiences to rural America within the confiner of or. Connect

America budget, while providing increased certainty and predictability for all carriers and a

climate for increased broadband expansion. I agree with you that we need to ensure the

universal service support mechanisms are serving their intended purpose of "increas[ing]

broadband deployment, facilitat[ing] transition to new communications technologies, and

bridg[ing] the digital divide."

To that end, in April, the Commission voted to move forward with Phase II of the

Connect America Fund for price-cap carriers, and took several steps to improve the climate for

broadband investment in areas served by incumbent rate-of-return carriers. Most notably, we

eliminated the Quantile Regression Analysis benchmarks rule because it was not serving its

intended purpose. In addition, in the above-mentioned Further Notice,the Commission

proposed to adopt a stand-alone broadband funding mechanism for rate-of-return carriers and

sought comment on how to support the deployment of broadband-capable networks by rate-of-

return carriers within the current budget for the program. We welcome a dialogue regarding how

a standalone broadband mechanism could be structured to provide support consistent with the $2

bi I lion budget for rate-of-return territories.

image82-00.jpg612x792

Page2-The Honorable Kelly Ayotte

I look forward to working with you as we continue the work of reforming and

modernizing the universal service fund high-cost program - as well as other components of the

Fund - to ensure that all Americans have access to robust voice and broadband services.

I appreciate your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further

assistance.

dh{,1

image83-00.jpg612x792

FEDERAL Con,l u UN ICATIoNS coM M ISSIoN

wASHINGToN

OFFICE OF

THE CHAIRMAN

June24,2014

The Honorable Jon Tester

United States Senate

706Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Tester:

Thank you for your letter supporting the implementation of a universal service

mechanism to allow rural rate-of-reiurn carriers to ieceive support for broadband-only lines.

This is one of the key issues that the commission raised in the connect America Fund Further

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking thatwe adopted in April. your views on this matter are very

important' and will be included in the .."o.d- of the proceeding and consid"r"Ju, part of the

Commission's review.

The universal service program is one of the most important tools at our disposal to ensure

that consumers and businessei inlural America have the same opportunities as their urban and

suburban counterparts to be active participants in the u"ii"o staies of the 2lst century. we are

focused on updating the universal service program to ensure that we are delivering the best

possible voice and broadband experiences to rural America within the confines of our Connect

America budget' while providing increased certainty anJ f."oictability for all carriers and a

climate for increased broadband expansior. t ug.". *,ith |ou that we need to ensure the

universal service support mechanisms are serviig their iniended purpose of ..increas[ing]

broadband deployment, facilitat[ing] transition to new communications technologies, and

bridg[ing] the digital divide.,'

-

To that end, in April, the Commission voted to move forward with phase II of the

connect America Fund for price-cap carriers, and took several steps to i-pro"; the climate for

broadband investment in areas t"*id by incumbent rate-of-retum carriers. Most notably, we

eliminated the Quantile Regression Analysis benchmarks rule because it was not serving its

intended pu{pose. In addition, in the above-mentioned Further Notice,the Commission

proposed to adopt a stand-alone broadband funding mechanism for rate-of-return carriers and

sought comment on how to support the deploymeni orbroadband-capable networks by rate-of-

return carriers within the current budget for the program. we welcome a dialogue regarding how

a standalone broadband mechanism could be structired to provide support consistent with the $2

bi I li on budget for rate-of-return territories.

image84-00.jpg612x792

Page 2-The Honorable Jon Tester

I look forward to working with you as we continue the work of reforming and

modemizing the universal servic-e r""align-."J;;;rrr.- as well as other components of the

Fund - to ensure that all Americans hur" u"..rs to robust voice and broadband services.

your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further

"..rour'.31'reciate

image85-00.jpg612x792

FEDERAL CoMMUNIcATIoNS CoMMISSIoN

WASHINGToN

OFFICE OF

Jtne24,2014

THE CHAIRMAN

The Honorable Johnny Isakson

United States Senate

131 Russell Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Isakson:

Thank you for your letter supporting the implementation of a universal service

mechanism to allow rural rate-of-return carriers to ieceive support for broadband-only lines.

This is one of the key issues that the Commission raised in the Connect America Fund Further

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking thatwe adopted in April. Your views on this matter are very

important. and will be included in the r."o.d of the proceeding and considered as part of the

Commission's review.

The universal service program is one of the most important tools at our disposal to ensure

that consumers and businesses in rural America have the same opportunities as their urban and

s^uburban counterparts to be active participants in the United States of the 2lst century. We are

focused on updating the universal Jervice program to ensure that we are delivering the best

possible voice and broadband experiences to rural America within the confines of our Connect

America budget' while providing increased certainty and predictability for all carriers and a

climate for increased broadband expansion. I agreewith you that we need to ensure the

universal service support mechanisms are serving their iniended pu{pose of ..increas[ing]

broadband deployment, facilitat[ing] transition to new communications technologies, and

bridg[ing] the digital divide."

To that end, in April, the Commission voted to move forward with phase II of the

Connect America Fund for price-cap carriers, and took several steps to impr.ve the climate for

broadband investment in areas serv'ed by incumbent rate-of-return carriers. Most notably, we

eliminated the Quantile Regression Analysis benchmarks rule because it was not serving its

intended pu{pose. In addition, in the above-mentioned Further Notice,the Commission

proposed to adopt a stand-alone broadband funding mechanism for rate-of-return carriers and

sought comment on how to support the deploymenl of broadband-capable networks by rate-of-

return carriers within the current budget for the program. We welcome a dialogue regarding how

a standalone broadband mechanism could be structured to provide support con"sistent with the $2

bill ion budget for rate-o f-return territorie s.

image86-00.jpg612x792

Page 2-The Honorable Johnny Isakson

I look forward to working with you as we continue the work of reforming and

modernizing the universal servic-e fund high-cort p.g;-

Fund - to ensure that all Americans have access to rotust voice and broadband services.

as well as other components of the

W

ur.,u*l3lpreciate

your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further

image87-00.jpg612x792

FEDERAL CoMMUNICATIoNS coMMISSIoN

wASHINGToN

OFFICE OF

THE CHAIRMAN

June24,2014

The Honorable John Walsh

United States Senate

511 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Walsh:

Thank you for your letter supporting the implementation of a universal service

mechanism to allow rural rate-of-reiurn carriers to ieceive support for broadband-only lines.

This is one of the key issues that the commission raised in the connect America Fund Further

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking thatwe adopte,d i, epril"^ vour views on thismatter are very

#irl,Xffh}3#','"T.

includeJin the record- of the proceeding and considered as part of the

The universal service program is one of the most important tools at our disposal to ensure

suburban counterparts to be active participants in the r-l"ii"a states of the -iri r"rt,rry. we are

that consumers and businesses in-rural America have the *rn. opportunities as their urban and

focused on updating the universal servicaprog.urn-io ;;;;;" that we are delivering the best

possible voice and broadband experiences to rural America within the confines of our connect

America budget, *hil.t providing increased c_ertainty and predictability for all carriers and a

climate for increased broadbandlxpansior. r d;;;;h

universal service support mechanisms are serving their iniended purpose of .,increas[ing]

iou that we need to ensure the

broadband deploymen! facilitat[ing] transition tJnew co-*uricuti;;;.;-h";logies, and

bridg[ing] the digital divide.,,

To that end, in April, the clommission voted to move forward with phase II of the

connect America Fund for price-cap carriers, and took several steps to improve the climate for

broadband investment in arias ,"rrr"d by'incumbert rut.-or-."turn carriers. Most notably. we

eliminated the Quantile Regression Analysis u"n"rr-urt, *t" because it *rr rrt serving its

intended purpose' In additi,on, in the above-mentioned Further Notice,the commission

proposed to adopt a stand-alone broadband firnding -""rr*ir- for rate-of-return carriers and

sought comment on how to support the deploym.ni oru.*db*d-"upuble networks by rate-of-

return carriers within the current budget ro, trr" progr* wt welcome a dialogue regarding how

a standalone broadband mechanism could u. rt*.iii;io

billion budget for rate-of-return territori es.

i.ouio" support consistent with the $2

image88-00.jpg612x792

Page 2-The Honorable John Walsh

I look forward to working with you as we continue the work of reforming and

modemizing the universal servici funa high-cort p-g;;-

Fund - to ensure that all Americans have access to robust voice and broadband services.

as well as other components of the

your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further

urrir,url"Slpreciate

#ilu

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