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News Release
September 24, 2003
CONTACT: David Fish
(202) 289-8928

Congressional Seminar:
Universal Service Reform

Major Communications Issue Attracts CEO, Top Fed/State Experts

WASHINGTON, DC – A crucial element of communications policy – the Universal Service program, which provides funds for basic and advanced telecommunications services in high-cost urban and rural areas, including support of the controversial ‘schools and libraries’ program – faces immense and varied challenges. The nature and extent of those challenges, as well as ideas for reform, are the topics of a Congressional Seminar this Friday featuring a communications CEO, federal and state regulators, a national trade association president and other top experts.

Sponsored by The Progress & Freedom Foundation, “Universal Service: Who Gives, Who Gets and For How Long?” takes place Friday, September 26, from 12:00 – 2:00 p.m., in Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2105. Speakers include: Matt Brill, senior legal advisor to FCC Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy; Kathryn Brown, senior VP for public policy development at Verizon; John Rose, president of OPASTCO; John Stanton, CEO of Western Wireless Corporation and Hon. Nanette Thompson, Commissioner, Regulatory Commission of Alaska (and state chair of the Federal-State Board on Universal Service). The moderator will be Raymond Gifford, president of The Progress & Freedom Foundation (and past Colorado Public Utilities Commission chair).

Topics discussed will include: Questions surrounding new competitive entrants into rural areas; the impact of new technologies (broadband and VoIP) on traditional rate elements; access to advanced services for rural areas, sources of funding and options for reform. Those interested in attending the Congressional Seminar should register by contacting Rebecca Fuller at 202-289-8928 or Lunch will be served.

“What is the state of universal service and what reforms are necessary to make the program more coherent, cost effective and successful – these are the important questions facing our experts on Friday,” said Gifford. “The topic of a House hearing this week, this event should be both useful and timely.”

For information on the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing, click here.

The Progress & Freedom Foundation is a market-oriented think tank that studies the digital revolution and its implications for public policy. It is a 501(c)(3) research & educational organization.



The Progress & Freedom Foundation