Sen. Stevens to chair Anchorage hearing on universal service

Posted: Thursday, June 27, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens will hold a field hearing in Anchorage on telecommunications access.

Stevens will chair a hearing of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee on July 1 in Court Room 2 of the Anchorage Federal Building on the Federal Communications Commission's Universal Service Program.

Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Montana, will participate in the hearing. Among those expected to testify are representatives from Alaska Communications Systems, General Communications Inc., AT&T, the Alaska Telephone Association and an Alaska health care provider.

The goal of the Federal Universal Service Fund is to promote the availability of quality communications services at affordable rates and to increase access to advanced telecommunications services to all consumers, including those in low-income and rural areas. All telecommunications companies that provide service between states must contribute to the fund.

A joint federal-state board is currently reviewing universal service issues, including whether the core services eligible under the program should include high-speed Internet or telephone lines for dial-up Internet service.

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