FCC Commissioner Martin Delivers Candid Keynote Address at NTCA Fall Conference

Sept. 22, 2003, Boston, Mass. – In a candid question and answer session with NTCA’s members, FCC Commissioner Kevin Martin revealed what he foresaw as the critical issues pending before the Commission and the impact that these issues could have on rural carriers.

Martin began his address by informing attendees that they must remember that the FCC is an arm of Congress.  As such, the FCC must have a strict interpretation of the law, preferring markets over regulation and a competitive marketplace with a variety of competitors.

Martin noted, however, that rural America is a place where service is difficult and it may be hard to bring competition to rural areas.

Martin also addressed universal service, stating that he is advocating that the Commission require that any company receiving universal service dollars meet the same requirements as the incumbents.

Martin revealed that he is optimistic about the future but shared that he believes that the FCC has missed several opportunities.  Chief among these missed opportunities is the FCC’s use of basing universal service on hypothetical models that could adversely affect larger carriers.

Martin concluded by telling attendees how he is "struck" by how widely deployed rural telcos are.  "Rural carriers are often the first to try to deploy service and the FCC needs to make it so that it isn’t inadvertently imposing additional costs on rural carriers."

"Make sure you make your concerns heard and continue doing what you do best—providing high quality, affordable telecommunications service," Martin concluded.

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NTCA is the premiere association representing more than 560 locally owned and controlled telecommunications cooperatives and commercial companies throughout rural and small-town America. NTCA provides its members with legislative, regulatory and industry representation; meetings; publications and educational programs; and an array of employee benefit programs. Visit us at www.ntca.org


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NTCA is the premier association representing more than 550 locally owned and controlled telecommunications cooperatives and commercial companies throughout rural and small-town America. NTCA provides its members with legislative,Contact Caitlin Colligan at 703-351-2086 regulatory, and industry representation; meetings, publications, and educational programs; and an array of employee benefit programs.