NTCA Applauds Report Finding that Landline Still King

Pew Internet Survey says landline youth's most popular communication method


December 19, 2007, Arlington, Va. - National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA) Vice President, Government Affairs Tom Wacker released the following statement regarding several provisions important to rural communications providers that were included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008, which was agreed to by Congress. The bill includes language providing an additional 12-month exemption of the Universal Service Fund from Anti-Deficiency Act provisions and to prohibit the FCC from implementing a primary line restriction. It also sets FY 08 funding levels for the telecommunications programs of the Rural Utilities Service (RUS):

"We commend Congress for recognizing the importance of ensuring uninterrupted funding to the universal service program and once again extended the exemption of the program from the arcane budgetary laws which threaten consumer access to quality communications services.

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"We are also pleased that Congress saw fit to include in the legislation provisions to prevent limiting universal support to a single line-a restriction that would have a profound adverse economic impact on consumers and businesses located in the most rural parts of our nation.

"In addition, we are extremely encouraged by Congress' ongoing recognition of the importance of the RUS telecommunications program which maintains funding for both the traditional infrastructure program and the broadband program at levels that are necessary to help rural providers meet the communications demands of consumers throughout rural America.  These actions will help ensure the deployment of state of the art communications technology and services that are so critical to our national and economic security today." 

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The National Telecommunications Cooperative Association is the premier 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.