Ajit Pai has been appointed Chairman of the Federal Communication’ Commission, which will now have a 3-2 Republican majority. Among Pai’s Bureau and Office Chief appointees are Kris Monteith, Acting Chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau and Nese Guendelsberger, Acting Chief of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau. Brendan Carr was named Acting General Counsel.
The Commission’s first Open Meeting under Pai’s chairmanship will be held January 31st.
In other FCC news, the Wireline Competition Bureau authorized 182 RoR ILECs to receive 217 offers of A-CAM support totaling $454 in annual model-based funding. This brings the total authorized A-CAM recipients to 207 carriers in 43 states. Acceptance of these lower offers of support is conditioned on the ILECs’ agreement to meet the terms of the original offer if the Commission should decide to fully fund those original offers.
In a related action, Comments are due February 13th on the FCC’s FNPRM on whether to increase the A-CAM budget for ILECs to provide additional funding for those carriers that expand their broadband employment obligations.
Strict adherence to the A-CAM budget has been a major issue in this proceeding. That fact seems to us a little strange, from a federal government where other agencies have provided funding and tax exemptions, among many ridiculous programs and events, for Nevada brothels; advertising tie-ins to the ‘Soldier of Steel” movie; the Puppets Take Long Island festival; and a study of shrimp on a tread mill.
Apparently, universal service at reasonable rates is not the priority it once was.