Concerned about FCC’s pending vote

Published 12:27 am Saturday, October 25, 2008

Dear Editor:

I have great concern about news reports I am hearing about the FCC’s pending November 4, vote on reform measures that would radically affect telecommunications investment in our community.

Like the rest of the country, our state and citizens are experiencing the long term effects of the Nation’s economic crisis. Now we learn that the FCC may issue an order on November 4th that will significantly raise telephone rates for consumers and small businesses and further destabilize the telecommunications industry while reducing investment in rural communities.

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At this time when our citizens and local governments are making budget cuts in an attempt to balance our budgets, a large rate increase for telecommunications and Internet services would hurt our citizens. Consumers do not need to see their utility bills significantly increase, particularly citizens that live in small rural communities. Many of the citizens in these areas are on fixed incomes.

I am also concerned about the loss of jobs for our state. I am hearing that CenturyTel and other local telephone companies may have to lay people off and will spend less money to sustain and improve service in my area if this FCC order is approved. During these tough economic times, with the housing markets in upheaval, further loss of jobs in our state would be disastrous.

We need to contact our elected officials and have them send word to the FCC not to vote for the pending intercarrier compensation order at its November 4th meeting. They need to stop the FCC vote that would significantly increase our bills for telephone and high speed Internet service.

Jeff Adams

Area Supervisor, CenturyTel