Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Blanca Telephone Ordered to Restore Over $6 Million to USF

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 the USF.

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

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