AFPGA has been a leader in the fight against abuse of the “Universal Access Fund” for years. This fund, created by the Public Service Commission, has become a slush fund for rural phone companies. It works like this: all telephone customers pay a higher rate, a small part of which goes into this fund, presumably to make rates more affordable for some rural customers. First, I object on the grounds that this is yet another government redistribution of wealth scheme. Worse yet, the fund has been used un-judiciously for years. While the General Assembly has tried to reform the Fund, the payouts just keep on growing: a 533% increase from 2004-2010.. One example: The Georgia PSC recently gave Public Service Telephone $2.2 million in funding. In 2010, Public Service paid $1.2 million to its executives and another $2 million dividend to its owners.
Would you speak up against this boondoggle? The PSC is holding hearings in Taylor County (August 9), Catoosa County (August 13,) and Chickamauga, GA (August 13.) Email me now at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re willing to speak out against this ratepayer subsidy.