TDS Telecom: Applauds Rep. Boucher and Rep. Terry for introduction of federal universal service reform legislation


DeAnne Boegli, National PR Manager

608.664.4428 or 608-225-2472

Madison, Wis. – On Friday morning, U.S. Reps. Rick Boucher (D-VA) and Lee Terry (R-NE), both senior members of the House Commerce Committee, introduced bi-partisan legislation to reform, preserve and advance the federal Universal Service Program, one of the nation’s most successful public policy programs.

The following statement can be attributed to Drew Petersen, director of external affairs and corporate communications for TDS Telecommunications Corporation:

“TDS Telecom sincerely appreciates the leadership actions demonstrated today by U.S. Representatives Rick Boucher and Lee Terry to introduce a comprehensive federal universal service reform proposal early in the 111th Congress.

“Rural consumers deserve equal access to ubiquitous broadband deployment and comparable telecommunications rates and services. It would be a missed opportunity for the nation if we cannot capitalize on the efforts made by Representatives Boucher and Terry today and the balance of the U.S Congress in the coming weeks to reform our nation’s telecommunications laws.”

“As a telecommunications company serving predominantly rural and suburban America, TDS Telecom recognizes this legislation as having areas of profound importance to our customers and our company.

“Through this legislation, representatives Boucher and Terry have worked vigorously to create a thoughtful reform blueprint to preserve and advance critical telecommunications programs such as the federal Universal Service Fund, inter-carrier compensation payments and continued deployment of broadband services across our country.

“In particular, the legislation recommends expanding the contribution base so all providers of communications services will equitably invest in the fund. The bill expands the federal universal service definition to include broadband as a “supported service.”

“Additionally, the legislation includes important inter-carrier compensation reform recommendations and timelines for action at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a top TDS priority that will stifle the telecommunications phenomenon of “phantom traffic.” Finally, the legislation permanently exempts the federal Universal Service Fund from the Anti-Deficiency Act to avoid the need to renew the exemption annually.