SCC Asks FCC to Restore Budget Control Mechanism Reductions

  • Post category:Blog

The Small Company Coalition– a group of small ILECs and vendors serving rural areas and tribal territories across America – has urged the Commission to restore funding cuts triggered by the budget control mechanism that became effective July 1, 2020.
Its recent letter to the Chairman Ajit Pai, authored by SCC Executive Committee Member Jim Kail, pointed out that many RLECs had honored the Commission’s “Keep America Connected’ pledge. That action of March, 2020 asked broadband providers to not terminate service, and to waive late fees, for any residential or small business customers that were having financial problems due to the pandemic; it also asked them to open their Wi-Fi hotspots to any American needing them.
Several SCC members were presented as examples of compliance with these principles. Penasco Valley Telephone Cooperative and Sacred Winds Communications, both in New Mexico, Valley Telephone Cooperative in Texas, and the Laurel Highland group of companies in Pennsylvania, were cited for their efforts to willingly and generously implement the Commission’s request, in a variety of ways. But “these measures represent only a small portion of the overall actions taken by SCC member across the country,” the letter stated.
The letter then “requests the Commission to consider restoring funding cuts…that took effect July 1, 2020 (to) provide a vital mitigating effect on COVID-induced losses sustained by small carriers across the nation and allow our companies to continue to work hand-in-hand with our customers to cushion shortfalls they may be enduring.”
We applaud this proposal and believe that the SCC has become a strong and effective advocate for RLECs all over America.