Chairman Rockefeller to FCC Commissioners: Fix Broken Universal Service System

Rockefeller Says Inadequate System Means Many Rural Areas Still Lack Service

August 3, 2010

Chairman RockefellerWASHINGTON, D.C.— Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, sent a letter to all five commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) urging them to fix inadequacies in the current universal service system. 

The letter comes on the heels of a Commerce Committee hearing in June, which examined how the current system is working, and what can be done to make sure rural areas throughout the country have broadband and wireless services on par with those available in urban areas. Additional information on the committee hearing can be found here. 

“In West Virginia, as many as one in five households lack access to broadband service. Only 71 percent of the state’s population has access to 3G wireless service. This is profoundly unacceptable,” Chairman Rockefeller said. “The existing universal service system has shortchanged too many residents of rural communities. West Virginians—and all Americans—deserve the same access to quality communications as those in more urban areas. This is not just my opinion—it’s the law.”