Commlaw Source

FOLLOWING THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS INDUSTRY AND RELATED LEGAL TOPICS

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Numbers-Based USF Movement Gets Its Own Association

The effort to change the system for collecting universal service funding from an assessment based upon interstate telecom revenues to a system based on per-telephone number assessments got a boost today with the announcement of the formation of a new coalition, the "USF by the Numbers Coalition (or Numbers Coalition for short)." While the name of the group isn't too catchy, the coalition boasts a powerful membership (Bell companies, CTIA, NCTA) and is headed by seasoned industry veterans. According to the press release issued this morning, the group will be headed by former ALTS President John Windhausen and advised by former FCC commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth and "will urge policy-makers to act quickly to adopt a numbers-based system for collecting universal service funding. " Although the legal and policy case for numbers-based reform is less than clear at the moment, the formation of this group certainly moves the advocacy needle in that direction and the momentum in favor of adoption of numbers-based USF is picking up.

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