Open a hearing to uncover the FCC Order's impact on rural America
  • Petitioned The United States Senate

This petition was delivered to:

The United States Senate

Open a hearing to uncover the FCC Order's impact on rural America

    1. Luke Kail
    2. Petition by

      Luke Kail

      Latrobe, PA

On November 18, 2011, the FCC issued an Order redefining the ways telecommunications companies earn revenue for their services, and re-allocated current government support into a new fund. The result: over the next 5 years, nearly $9 billion will be redistributed to large carriers such as Verizon, AT&T, and others, at the expense of the small rural telecommunications companies and you, the consumer. Initial projections estimate $10-$17 monthly rate increases in rural customers' rates, beginning July 1st, when Phase I of the Order is set to begin.

Various small companies are already scrambling to deal with the consequences, some even contemplating filing for bankruptcy in anticipation of lost revenue and defaulting on loans. Many of these companies had taken Rural Utilities Services (RUS--a government program) loans to help provide customers in high-cost areas such as mountains, deserts, Tribal Lands, etc., with high-speed Internet and telephone services, but under the Order, the revenue they anticipated when making these investments will be greatly reduced. The RUS has actually filed comments with the FCC to this end, realizing that their loan-holders will not be able to repay such loans, and that they (the RUS) could ultimately lose over $1 billion as a result.

An abundance of litigation has been filed against the FCC regarding these issues, including suits by various states' Public Utilities Commissions. Consumer advocacy groups have filed as well, and hundreds of small companies have voiced their concerns and opposition to the Order, only to be summarily rejected or outright ignored.

The FCC has made it clear that they have their answers and will not consider the voice of the small companies, so it's the voice of the consumer to whom we must turn. Sign this petition to implore the United States Senate to initiate a hearing to uncover the impact of this Order on rural telecommunications companies and their customers, and let the FCC know that we won't be bullied and pillaged to fund big business expenses!

More information can be found at www.facebook.com/keepconnected and at www.smallcompanycoalition.com

-the Small Company Coalition-
"Common Folk for Common Sense"

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Encouraging news from Capitol Hill!

      Luke Kail
      Petition Organizer

      SCC representatives met with Congressional offices, as well as Senator Toomey himself, to directly discuss the concerns detailed in this petition and by those who have signed and written comments. As a result of our efforts and your participation, the SCC has earned an informational briefing of Congressional staff in the House of Representatives! This briefing will serve to educate all House staff on the effects of the FCC's Order, with the purpose of holding a Committee/Sub-Committee hearing to follow.

      Additionally, Senator Toomey, who sits on the most relevant Committee and Sub-Committee, has expressed a serious interest in learning more about this issue, and has committed to working further with us to investigate the matter. Senator Moran (KS) also voiced strong concerns about USF/ICC reform on May 9th. Now, more than ever, we need to continue collecting signatures here to encourage Senators Toomey, Moran, and others to take action and continue fighting on our behalf!

    2. Reached 1,000 signatures
    3. Meeting with Congressmen later this month

      Luke Kail
      Petition Organizer

      Representatives of the Small Company Coalition will be meeting with Congressmen in D.C. later this month. One meeting is already set, with at least two more currently being scheduled. We implore you to continue passing this link to your friends, family, and associates who care for rural America and basic, American business principles in general. When we meet with our public servants in a few weeks, we'd like to show them exactly what the public is saying!

    4. Reached 100 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

      • over 2 years ago

      The FCC's proposed changes in the allocation of USF funding will present an enormous, negative impact to small rural cooperatives and millions of rural customers. We need to continue to insure affordable electrical and telecommunication rates for all US citizens. If it moves forward, the new FCC plan will, simply stated, impose extreme and unnecessary hardships on rural Americans.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • David Hunsucker RICHMOND, VA
      • over 2 years ago

      Wake up and realize that rural phone providers have been doing exactly what the FCC is trying to accomplish and have been for 100+ years... provide excellent service to rural Americans that AT&T and Verizon have chosen not to care about because it was too much work and not enough revenue. With the new rule making the FCC is prohibiting rural phone companies to continue what they have always done and continue to upgrade their networks to enable economic growth in rural America. Wireless is not the end all solution!!! In reality it is NOT wireless and must have a physical cable to operate the wireless towers. Try driving through rural America and making a call on your government issued Blackberry and remember that if your call does go through it's because a rural phone provider has the physical cable that operates the cell tower. Remember last year during the earthquake when you were standing on the streets of DC and your Blackberry didn't work??? Remember how helpless you felt??? That's what you are doing to rural Americans!!! Wake up and think logically for once!!!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
      • over 2 years ago

      We want to keep rural America connected - existing small companies provide the service to rural America that the Big Boys choose to avoid because they can not make enough money due to the smaller customer base.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Carol .Jones CARLSBAD, NM
      • over 2 years ago

      I live in a semi-rural area of New Mexico where my cell service is MARGINAL

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • kevin bartley ARTESIA, NM
      • over 2 years ago

      I am signing this because the FCC is penalizing the rural telephone companies and implementing retroactive ratemaking.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

    Develop your own tools to win.

    Use the Change.org API to develop your own organizing tools. Find out how to get started.