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Comm. Pai Statement Decrying Increase in Rural Americans Phone Rates

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Released: April 21, 2014

NEWS
Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information: (202) 418-0500

445 12th Street, S.W.

Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

Washington, D. C. 20554

TTY: (888) 835-5322

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.
See MCI v. FCC

, 515 F.2d 385 (D.C. Cir. 1974).

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT

:
April 21, 2014
Matthew Berry (202) 418-2005
Email: Matthew.Berry@fcc.gov

STATEMENT OF FCC COMMISSIONER AJIT PAI

DECRYING MOVE TO MAKE RURAL AMERICANS PAY ALMOST 50 PERCENT MORE

FOR PHONE SERVICE THAN THOSE LIVING IN WASHINGTON, DC

The data released late last Friday by the Federal Communications Commission’s Wireline
Competition Bureau show why the agency shouldn’t increase rural Americans’ phone bills.1 The FCC’s
so-called “rate floor” is supposed to ensure that urban and rural rates are “comparable.” But even though
the Bureau’s data reveal that the local phone rate in Washington, DC is $14.10, the FCC is on the
precipice of raising rates for rural Americans from $14.00 to $20.46. As a result, rural Americans will
have to pay 45 percent more for local phone service than those living in our nation’s capital. On top of all
that, this rate increase will not save the government any money.
This issue is another example of why so many in our nation’s heartland feel so alienated from
Washington, DC. Too often, there is one set of rules for those inside the Beltway and another set of rules
for everyone else. I hope the Commission will reconsider this ill-conceived policy and not raise rural
Americans’ phone bills to no end.

1 See Wireline Competition Bureau, 2014 Urban Rate Voice Survey Methodology, http://go.usa.gov/kRZJ (Apr. 21,
2014); Wireline Competition Bureau, 2014 Urban Rate Voice Survey Results, http://go.usa.gov/kRBY (Apr. 21,
2014).

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