“With all of the changes made by the FCC since 2011 and its CAF/ICC Order, RLECs are receiving dramatically less support to keep basic service affordable and maintain the traditional landline network.
As mentioned, we are COLR providers for traditional service, and adhered to the statutory mandate under Act 183 to deliver broadband service universally in Pennsylvania.
The “doing more with less” characterization certainly applies to this state’s RLECs. This unenviable position was the genesis for legislation introduced last session to keep the PA USF in its current form for a limited time and direct the PUC to conduct an investigation as to what the fund should look like going forward. That legislation also included a provision directing the PUC to examine whether the PA USF should be expanded to include support for increased broadband speeds as required by the FCC.”