AUGUSTA — Maine Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins are calling on a federal agency to update rules designed to ensure that rural residents have access to affordable broadband services.

King and Collins were among more than 60 senators who signed onto a letter urging the Federal Communications Commission to modernize its broadband rules.

The senators say the current rules make broadband support for rural customers contingent on residents signing up for land-line phone service. That means that when residents get rid of their traditional phone service, they also lose access to Universal Service Fund support for broadband even if they pay for internet service.

The senators say that forces rural residents to pay for services they don’t want or need.

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