If their performances at Tuesday’s Senate Hearing on Universal Service Fund Reform (USF) are any indication, I am definitely going to become a huge fan of Frosh Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Amy Klobauchar (D-MN). After listening to FCC Commissioner Deborah Tate (who chairs the Federal-State Joint Board on universal Service that oversees the Universal Service Fund) explain that USF reform has stalled because it has been impossible to get “consensus” from the industry “stakeholders,” Senator McCaskill said:
What you’re basically saying to us is the FCC is incapable of moving forward on reform unless all the people who are making money say it’s OK, and that’s hard for me to get my arms around.
Senator Klobuchar echoed similar incredulity and disbelief.
I hope these two maintain that sense of disbelief and outrage. Because the ideas espoused by Tate on the proper role of the FCC and Congress have become so embedded in telecom policy that even friends of the public interest take it as a given.
But hopefully, thanks to McCaskill, Klobuchar, and the other progressive “freshmen,” that may change.
More below . . .