Proposal Would Reduce Consumers’ USF Contribution Burden By $3.1 Billion Annually
RESTON, Va. - May 14, 2008 - Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) a new proposal that comprehensively addresses the concerns about the federal universal service high cost support program. The proposal offers a path to a sustainable high cost support fund that provides support necessary to achieve universal service where it is most needed and promotes competition rather than subsidies.
Using publicly provided carrier data and minor modifications to current FCC rules Sprint Nextel developed an administratively simple yet Comprehensive Universal Service Reform (For Everyone) High Cost Support Plan (The CURE Plan). CURE will treat all industry segments equitably; reduce high cost support to a sustainable level; lower carrier contributions to the fund and, at the same time, lower consumer bills. The plan sets stage to reconcile the universal service and competition goals of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
“CURE is a unique proposal that is fair to carriers, benefits consumers, and, most importantly, it is the only plan that can be implemented immediately,” stated Len Kennedy, Sprint Nextel general counsel and head of regulatory and external affairs. “It is important for the FCC to put the CURE Plan out for full public comment to allow a refresh of industry thinking about universal service and the need for competitive reform.”
Telecommunications carriers and consumers currently contribute more than $4.6 billion annually for high cost support. Adoption of CURE would reduce this sum over time by $3.1 billion annually and would reduce the contribution rate that funds high-cost support from 11.3% to 6%.
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Media Relations Contact: Crystal Davis Crystal.Davis@sprint.com (571) 288-6806