USF Distribution, Hearing Before the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, United States Senate, One Hundred Ninth Congress, Second Session, March 2, 2006 [open pdf - 4MB]
From the opening statement of Conrad Burns: "At stake in this debate is no less than the future of rural America. For those who say that Universal Service no longer makes sense or that it should be repealed or scaled back I encourage them to visit states like Montana and Alaska and other rural areas and see the Fund in action. The day has not arrived when technology and the free market can make affordable telecommunications services available everywhere. Simply put, there's a lot of dirt between light bulbs in Montana. You've heard me say that 1,000 times. I was asked the other day to explain that. Competition and technology have not changed that. Until that time arrives, Universal Service funds are the only alternative. As we look at revising Universal Service, we need to keep foremost in mind that without support from the Universal Service Fund phone bills in high-cost areas around the country would increase dramatically. For example an average Montanan living in a rural area would pay an additional $329.97 each year to receive telecommunications services. Many of our schools and our schoolchildren would not have access to the Internet; vital to help them do their homework, conduct research and compete in a global economy." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Conrad Burns, Jim DeMint, Trent Lott, Gordon H. Smith, Olympia J. Snowe, Ted Stevens, John E. Sununu, Shirley Bloomfield, Tony Clark, Carson Hughes, Jeff Mao, and Ben Scott.
S. Hrg. 109-1107; Senate Hearing 109-1107
Government Printing Office, Federal Digital System: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/