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Rural Telephone Coalition v. FCC

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Citation Edit

Rural Telephone Coalition v. Federal Commc’ns Comm’n, 838 F.2d 1307 (D.C. Cir. 1988) (full-text).

Appellate Court Proceedings Edit

The court upheld the Commission’s creation of a Universal Service Fund to provide subsidies for telephone service in rural and other high-cost areas. The court, borrowing the language of Section 1 of the 1934 Communications Act, held that “[a]s the Universal Service Fund was proposed in order to further the objective of making communication service available to all Americans at reasonable charges, the proposal was within the Commission’s statutory authority.”[1] However, the court did not rest its decision on Section 1 alone, but on the fact that creation of the Universal Service Fund was ancillary to the Commission’s Title II responsibility to set reasonable interstate telephone rates, since the Commission established the Universal Service Fund for the very purpose of “ensur[ing] that telephone rates are within the means of the average subscriber in all areas of the country.” [2]

References Edit

  1. Id. at 1315.
  2. Id. at 1311-12 (emphasis added) (quoting In re Amendment of Pt. 67 of the Comm’n’s Rules and Establishment of a Joint Bd., 96 F.C.C.2d 781, 795, ¶ 30 (1984)).

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