The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ Committee on Consumers and the Public Interest has proposed a resolution calling on the FCC to extend the Mobility Fund Phase II (MF-II) challenge process. The resolution will be considered during NARUC’s upcoming annual meeting being held on Nov. 11-14 in Orlando.
According to the draft resolution, which is sponsored by Mississippi Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley, the FCC should extend the challenge process “until such time as all participants can be assured that their challenges are effective and the eligibility map is reflective of the on-the-ground experience of consumers.”
According to the draft resolution, the FCC’s initial map of areas eligible for MF-II funding does not “necessarily reflect the actual, on-the-ground consumer experience,” which is why the FCC established a challenge process to allow parties to dispute maps with speed test measurements, with an initial challenge window of March 29 to Aug. 27, according to the draft resolution.
Although the challenge period has been extended to Nov. 26, “certain NARUC members have discovered technological glitches in the FCC speed test app, particularly as it relates to phones operating on iOS software; found it difficult to supply the required numbers of tests given the lack of human resources; dealt with overwhelmed FCC employees who are under immense pressure to answer a large volume of questions; and found the entire FCC process to be underdeveloped and inefficient, leading to a lack of trust on the part of these NARUC members that the final eligibility maps will accurately reflect the need for service in the poorest parts of the nation,” the draft resolution states.
The draft resolution, therefore, urges the FCC to extend the challenge process so that “all participants can be assured that their challenges are effective and the eligibility map is reflective of the on-the-ground experience of consumers.”
Further, if the “FCC cannot assure NARUC and its members the current methodology used to create and challenge the MF-II eligibility map is sufficient to reflect on-the-ground experience of consumers, NARUC urges the FCC to withdraw the current process begun in February 2017 and create an improved process that will ensure that the areas in the United States, represented by members of NARUC, receive the universal support required to fulfill the purpose of the fund.”
The resolution will not become final NARUC policy unless and until it is approved by the board of directors, which meets on Nov. 13. -Carrie DeLeon, [email protected]
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