"The challenge now is to move beyond talking to actually delivering on the promise of helping rural customers," said Solomon D. Trujillo, president and CEO of US West, in a statement following the board's recommendation. Regulators have recently cut other access charges levied on long distance companies that help support rural customers, Trujillo said. Meanwhile, competition for businesses local phone service has eaten away at the local phone company's margins, he added. "Regulators have already begun eliminating many sources of rural support," Trujillo said. "That's why the FCC must move quickly to ensure that rural communities continue to have access to affordable phone service, as well as the latest in new information technologies.".
The Universal Service program also includes funds for rural health care and Internet access for schools and libraries, The Net portion came iphone screen protector glass verizon under political fire last summer, after GOP members of Congress criticized the way the FCC was administering the program, dubbing it the "Gore tax.", Funds for schools and library Internet programs were released for the first time today, after being delayed and cut last summer, A federal advisory panel recommends that the nation's Universal Service telephone subsidy program be expanded to protect rural and other low-income customers..
Supporters of the subsidy program are worried that increased competition in telephone markets will leave rural areas stranded, since they are more expensive to serve and offer less return than high-profit business centers. The Federal Communications Commission will have to decide how to protect these areas when it rules on overhauling the program next spring. A joint federal-state panel of advisors recommended today that funding for the program be increased slightly, and that some states take over greater responsibility for the subsidies.
CNET también está disponible en español, Don't show this again, But critics of the merger, including long distance companies, alternative local providers, and consumer groups, filed a first round of official comments with the FCC today arguing otherwise, "It would be anti-competitive to iphone screen protector glass verizon let them join forces," said Peter Lucht, a spokesman for MCI WorldCom, "If Bell Atlantic and GTE were really interested in jump-starting competition, they would open their local markets to competition.", New Names, Old Monopolies?The critics focused on several aspects of the merger, and questioned claims that the deal would lower prices for consumers and increase competition in local phone markets..
GTE once had plans to expand its local service offerings into BellAtlantic's northeastern territory, they noted. The two companies' merger will eliminate this road to competition, they say. Critics also pointed to the pending merger between SBC and Ameritech, saying that the combined mergers would concentrate telecommunications power in too few hands, making it virtually impossible for other companies to compete directly. "Those megamergers would result in two companies owning and controlling two-thirds of all of the local telephone access lines in the country, resulting a Bell East and a Bell West monopoly," said John Hoffman, Sprint senior vice president, in statement accompanying his company's comments.
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