NHMC Joined Allies in Opposition to a Proposed Declaratory Ruling That Would Reduce Universal Service Funds

NHMC joined allies in a letter led by Public Knowledge opposing a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposal for a declaratory ruling to classify SMS text messaging and short codes as an “information service” rather than a “telecommunications service” under Title II. The ruling would deprive the Universal Service Fund (USF) of billions of dollars in contribution-eligible revenue at a time when the existing contribution pool is already on the decline. Importantly, USF funds programs like Lifeline, which is the only federal program that helps low-income Americans to get access to phone and internet service.

The letter urges the FCC to update the record with the financial impact of such a drastic proposal. It also explains why classifying text messaging as an entirely unregulated “information service” eliminates important consumer protections afforded by Title II. Click here to review the letter.

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