In response to Reply Comments filed by Verizon and Verizon Wireless in the 06-122 Docket, on November 18, 2009, the Coalition submitted an ex parte letter to clarify certain mischaracterizations of its position on reporting and contributing to the USF based upon prepaid calling card (“PPCC”) revenues. The Coalition clarified that it does not advocate exemption of all PPCC distributor revenues, but instead asks that the Commission instruct USAC not to treat revenues received from sales of PPCCs to third-party distributors as retail “end-user” revenues.
In addition, the letter advocates that any USF support system adopted by the FCC should achieve the objective of ensuring low cost, widely available international long distance. Furthermore, the Coalition showed its support for funding programs implemented consistent with basic concepts of fairness, thus imposing greater support burdens on those entities deriving the greatest benefits from the Public Switched Telephone Network (“PSTN”), consistent with Congress’ intent, as affirmed in Texas Office of Pub. Util. Counsel v. FCC, 183 F.3d 393, 428 (5th Cir. 1999)(“TOPUC”)(“Congress designed the universal service scheme to exact payments from those companies benefiting from the provision of universal service.”). As the TOPUC court intimated, the burdens must be balanced with the benefits, and it is insufficient for the FCC to simply proclaim that EVERY service provider benefits equally in its justification for requiring EVERY service provider to contribute equally. Congress and TOPUC require the FCC to weigh the burdens against the proclaimed benefits. The Coalition encouraged the Commission to reform not only the USF contribution system consistent with statutory and judicial intent, but to also address the unequal burdens imposed by the TRS Fund and other FCC program funding mechanisms.