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House and Senate Republicans Urge Joint Board Review of E-rate Proposals

Adam Shoemaker Posted in Congress

On January 30, 2014, prominent Republican legislators in the Senate and House of Representatives sent a letter to the FCC expressing concern about the potential growth of the E-rate program and urging the agency to engage the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service to review proposals for E-rate reform. In the letter, Senator John Thune, Senator Roger Wicker, Representative Fred Upton, and Representative Greg Walden wrote that proposals floated in the past months “could increase the size and cost of the E-rate program,” and that the growth of the Universal Service Fund requires “a thorough and critical examination of any proposals that have the potential to further increase the bill for American families.” The legislators urged the FCC to use the Federal-State Joint Board “as a tool for the Commission to ensure any changes to the fund achieve the statutory goals in an effective and appropriately tailored way” and pointed to the 2012 Lifeline Reform Order as an a model of cooperation with the Joint Board.