Chairman Response Regarding Mergers
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
August 11 , 2014
The Honorable Lindsey 0. Graham
United States Senate
290 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Senator Graham:
Thank you for your recent letter regarding telecommunications mergers. I appreciate the
opportunity to respond.
As you know, the Commission generally is tasked with reviewing the proposed transfer
of any FCC license and/or authorization to determine if such transfer is in the public interest.
The Commission' s task goes beyond looking only for competitive harms and includes whether
the proposal would enhance competition. We also examine the impact of the proposed merger
on the deployment of advanced services to all Americans, in addition to the diversity of
ownership and the diversity of information services available to the public. Our review is
separate -and our standard of review distinct- from those of the Department of Justice (DOJ)
and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), but the Commission staff does work closely with our
colleagues in those agencies, as necessary and appropriate.
Additionally, the Commission conducts all of our reviews in a transparent manner,
providing the public with a full opportunity to participate by submitting their views and
comments on the impact of any proposed merger. I encourage your constituents to take part in
any proposed merger proceeding that may impact them.
I fully agree with your views on the importance of this agency' s commitment to ensure
access to telecommunication services in rural South Carolina. Since the day I arrived at the
Commission, I made clear that ensuring access to high-speed broadband networks for all
Americans is one of the core elements of communications policy that must guide the work of the
FCC. Access denied is opportunity denied. 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 21 st century. To that end, 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 look forward to continuing the work of reforming and modernizing the Universal
Service Fund high-cost program- as well as other components of the Fund- and to working
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with stakeholders, including rural carriers and consumers, to ensure that all Americans have
access to robust voice and broadband services.
I hope this information is helpful.
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