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NCTA's Powell to Testify at Senate USF Hearing

National Cable & Telecommunications Association President Michael Powell will be among the witnesses at an Oct. 12 Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the FCC's reform of the Universal Service Fund.

NCTA has argued for competitive neutrality in whatever the FCC does, which means not biasing the result in favor of incumbent local exchange carriers at the expense of competitors, like a right of first refusal for funds cable competitors could use to deliver better and more economical service.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has slated a vote on the FCC's proposed changes at its Oct. 27 meeting, which he outlined last week. NCTA's response was to say that it would study the proposal, while applauding its recognition that "high-cost support should only be targeted to areas that are not already served by cable operators or other providers that have invested private capital to serve rural communities."  

Also scheduled to testify at the hearing are Kathleen Abernathy, VP and chief legal officer at Frontier Communications and a former FCC commissioner; Mary Dillon, president of U.S. Cellular; Shirley Bloomfield, CEO of the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association, and Philip Jones, Commissioner of the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission.