The FCC ordered Blanca Telephone Company to re-pay more than $6 million to the Universal Service Fund, which supports the deployment of communications networks in high-cost, rural areas.
The eastern Colorado carrier became
eligible in 1997 to receive high-cost support for providing local
exchange telephone service in parts of Alamosa and Costilla counties.
Blanca offered commercial mobile radio service (CMRS), a non-regulated
service, both within and outside of its area. Blanca
included the costs of this non-regulated service in the regulated cost
accounts it submitted to the National Exchange Carriers Association
(NECA), inflating the amount of high-cost support Blanca received from
In 2012, NECA discovered Blanca’s
inflation and told the carrier to correct its accounting, and more,
importantly, to re-pay $6,748,280 in improperly paid USF support for
2005-2010. Blanca argued to the FCC it was entitled to the money to
deploy wireless service because wireless is a USF supported service. The
Commission called that “erroneous” in its decision released yesterday. Continue Reading