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Klobuchar, Franken press FCC on rural broadband

WASHINGTON-- U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and John Thune (R-S.D.) led a bipartisan coalition of 61 senators calling on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to modernize rules intended to ensure that Americans in rural areas have acce...

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WASHINGTON- U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and John Thune (R-S.D.) led a bipartisan coalition of 61 senators calling on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to modernize rules intended to ensure that Americans in rural areas have access to affordable broadband services.

Under current rules, the Universal Service Fund (USF)-which facilitates the delivery of communications services to rural areas-can only provide support for broadband when customers also sign up for traditional landline phone service. When rural customers "cut the cord" of traditional phone service in favor of wireless or Internet-based phone services, rural communities served by smaller telecommunication providers lose access to USF support for broadband deployment even if the customer continues to pay for broadband Internet service. The outdated rules create a needless link between customers signing up for services they may not want or need and broadband deployment. Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) was one of the signatories of the letter to the FCC.

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