NTCA’s Bloomfield Accompanies FCC Chairman Genachowski and Rep. Terry to Diller Telephone Co.

Arlington, Va., (May 19, 2011) – Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski and Rep. Lee Terry (R –Neb.) toured the facilities of NTCA member Diller Telephone Co. on Wednesday, May 18, to see the role broadband service plays in rural America’s economy.

Diller Telephone serves 760 customers. One of its customers, C&C Meats, credited its e-commerce business success to the broadband connection provided by Diller Telephone. As Genachowski and Terry toured C&C Meats’ facilities, they saw firsthand what broadband had done for the company.

In an interview with Omaha World-Herald about the visit, Genachowski stated that broadband “is not a luxury, it’s a necessity” in rural America. After witnessing the role broadband service plays in Diller, Genachowski said, “It proves the relationship between broadband, economic growth and job creation. It also proves how important it is to have high-speed connectivity in rural America.”  He went on to cite national broadband coverage as a potential savior for rural communities and economies, and the importance of finding a fiscally responsible way to deploy broadband.

In a Lincoln Journal Star article, Terry acknowledged the risk of Internet providers making the investment to extend service into rural areas only to see their customers join the exodus to Lincoln, Omaha and more populated places.

According to NTCA CEO Shirley Bloomfield, Terry’s leadership in organizing this visit was instrumental in having the opportunity to tell the rural telecom story.  “I am hopeful that a real experience seeing an RLEC in action gives the FCC more understanding of the critical importance of USF for your telcos to continue to do great things for their subscribers,” Bloomfield posted on her blog.

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