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FCC Needs to Improve Performance Management and Strengthen Oversight of the High-Cost Program (GAO-08-633)
Under the Telecommunications Act of 1996, state regulatory commissions were given
primary responsibility for determining whether a telecommunications carrier is
eligible to participate in and receive support from the federal Universal Service
Fund’s High-Cost Program. We conducted an Internet-based survey of state regulatory
commissions in the 50 states and the District of Columbia to better understand the
similarities and differences in states’ roles in the high-cost program, including
questions about the state’s process to determine carrier eligibility to participate
in the program and annually certify carriers use of program funds, the state’s
internal control procedures for ensuring funds are being used appropriately,
and the state’s universal service fund, if any. This document presents the
results of GAO’s survey of the staff of state regulatory commissions that
oversee telecommunications carriers. The responses are presented in aggregate,
and do not represent specific state responses.
To help ensure that the survey questions were clear and understandable to respondents, and that we
gathered the information that we desired, we conducted pre-tests with relevant officials in five
states. The survey was available online to officials in the 50 states and the District of Columbia
on a secure Web site. We received complete responses from 50 of the 51 commissions we surveyed,
for an overall response rate of 98 percent.
A more detailed discussion of our scope and methodology is contained in our report: “Telecommunications:
FCC Needs to Improve Performance Management and Strengthen Oversight of the High-Cost Program”
We conducted our survey work from December 12, 2007, to February 8, 2008, in accordance with generally
accepted government auditing standards.
How to View The Surveys
- Click on the Table of Contents link located in the lower right of this
screen. To read to the bottom of the screen, you may need to use your scroll
bar on the right side of this screen.
- The first screen in the survey is an introduction and general
information that was sent to and viewed by recipients of the survey. There
are no survey results to view on this screen. This screen is for information
only and you may by-pass it by clicking on Next located at the bottom of the
screen in the lower right.
- The survey may have links to allow respondents to bypass
inapplicable questions (skip patterns). While these were active
links during the data collection period, they have now been
- When a respondent wrote a narrative response to a question, we sometimes present
the percent of respondents making a comment.
How to View the Responses for Each Question
- To view the responses to each question, click on the question number
(Links to survey questions will look like this:
- After viewing the responses to each question, click on the "x" in
the upper right corner of your screen to close that window and return to the questionnaire.
How to Return to a Page That You Previously Visited
- To return to the last screen you viewed, click the Previous button on
the lower right corner of the screen.
- Click the Next button to advance to the next screen.
How to Make the Font Larger on Your Screen
- You can make the font larger by changing your browser setting. For
example, on Internet Explorer you can change the font size by going to View
and selecting Text Size.
- If you have any questions about this survey please contact Mark Goldstein at (202)512-2834 or
Table of Contents
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