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Commissioner Pai Statement on FCC-Initiated Increase in Phone Bills

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Released: March 20, 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

:
March 20, 2014
Matthew Berry (202) 418-2005
Email: Matthew.Berry@fcc.gov

STATEMENT OF COMMISSIONER AJIT PAI

OPPOSING FCC-INITIATED INCREASE IN RURAL AMERICANS’ PHONE BILLS

Today the FCC announces a new “rate floor” of $20.46 a month. What does that mean? Over a
million customers in rural areas will face a rate hike of up to 46 percent in the next few months. This is
bad news in tough times.
Why should the FCC saddle rural Americans with rate increases when doing so may not save the
Universal Service Fund a dime and may in fact divert scarce funds away from broadband deployment?
And why should the FCC override state-set rates to raise costs for consumers?
Right now, the economy is good for many people here in Washington, DC. But a recovery hasn’t
yet reached much of rural America. Let’s not add to the challenges our fellow citizens face by increasing
their phone bills. Instead, let’s freeze the rate floor indefinitely and reexamine this misguided policy.

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