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News & Events

Universal Service Hearing: Should Service be Mandatory?

Posted: February 5, 2019

Date: Thursday, February 21, 2019

Time: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Location: American University, Washington College of Law Claudio Grossman Hall, 4300 Nebraska Ave NW, Washington, D.C., 20016

The Commission will host fourteen public hearings on the policy options it is considering for its final report. Through each hearing, the Commission will gain insights from panelists as it develops the policy recommendations for its final report to the Congress, the President, and the American people in March 2020.

On February 21, 2019, the Commission will host its second hearing, Universal Service Hearing: Should Service be Mandatory? This hearing will explore whether all Americans should be mandated to serve in military, national, and/or public service. To attend in-person, please RSVP here. The hearing will also be livestreamed.


NOTE: We are tracking the weather and are currently planning to continue with our hearing as scheduled. In the case that our venue, American University, either closes or has a delayed start, we will contact you with further information as soon as possible. 



Opening remarks

Testimony from Panelists

Panelist Questioning by Commissioners

Public Comments

Closing Remarks


Staff Memo

The Commission and Commission staff request feedback from the public on the ideas presented in STAFF MEMORANDUM: UNIVERSAL SERVICE. You can share your feedback here



  • Doug Bandow, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute
  • Dr. William Galston, Ezra K. Zilkha Chair and Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution
  • Ted Hollander, Author
  • Lucy Steigerwald, Author

Please reference the staff memorandum and testimony from all four panelists here.


Public Comments

The public is invited to provide comment at each hearing following the conclusion of testimony. In order to accommodate as many public comments as possible, individuals will have two minutes to relate their comment to the Commission. If you are interested in providing a public comment during the hearing, please arrive no later than 1:00 p.m. to receive a ticket. The Commission will select tickets at random. If your ticket is drawn, you may provide your comment to the Commissioners during the public comment period. If you’re unable to attend the public hearing or have to leave early, you can submit your comment here, email it to, or mail it to 2530 Crystal Drive, Suite 1000, Box #63, Arlington, Virginia 22202. 


Disability Access

Individuals who plan on attending this hearing and require accommodations should contact the Commission at 703-571-3742 at least 3 business days in advance to make arrangements.