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April 16, 2010

Internet Provider Hoping to Offer Cell Service By Year's End

From the St. Thomas Source:

Public hearings this week on the three islands over Choice Communications' petition to be eligible for federal Universal Service Funds were short--with no one speaking against the request--boding well for Choice's move toward providing cell phone service later this year.

The V.I. Public Services Commission held hearings on St. Thomas and St. John Tuesday and St. Croix on Wednesday, requesting public input on a formal request from Choice to collect federal Universal Service Fund (USF) grants as an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (ETC).

The USF is a Federal Communications Commission-controlled program designed to bring better telecommunications services to rural and insular areas. Funds must be spent on improving telecommunications service in the territory. The FCC makes the final determination but usually defers to the local regulatory recommendation, in this case, that of the PSC.