• Task 1 and 2 Reports to the Regulatory Commission of Alaska: Affordability Factors and Affordability Standards

      Tuck, Bradford; Schwartzberg, Lisa (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2006)
      Because affordability is essentially an issue of fairness, or equity, it is ultimately the task of the public policymaker to define “affordability” and to indicate factors to be considered in measuring “affordability.” We look first at factors that might be considered in discussing affordability. The FCC has addressed the issue of affordable universal service in some detail and has suggested principles that should be taken into account when policymakers attempt to determine affordable rates for telephone service. Major portions of that discussion are incorporated into Section II of the Task 1 report. Identification of potential variables that might be used to measure the factors influencing affordability is contained in Section III, and is organized around identified factors. Additional material is included in the appendix. Consideration of alternative affordability standards is incorporated in the present report, as well as suggestions we received from carriers in Section IV. Summary comments and observations are presented in Section V. Task 2 collected and analyzed a broad range of data, including extensive information from the 2000 U.S. Decennial Census and other U.S. sources, data from the Regulatory Commission of Alaska, survey results from Alaska Local Exchange Carriers, and other state sources.