NTCA Urges Members of Congress to Oppose Cybersecurity Act

Contact:  Laura Withers, 703-351-2086, lwithers@ntca.org
              Wendy Mann, 703-351-2087, wmann@ntca.org

Rural telecom companies already hard pressed by other regulatory reforms, Bloomfield says

WASHINGTON (July 27, 2012) – The National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA) today urged members of Congress to oppose the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 (S. 3414) and to continue seeking a solution that will secure the nation’s critical infrastructure while also allowing infrastructure owners to invest and grow.

“Today, all Americans continue to struggle in the face of deep and protracted economic challenges, and this is particularly true in the case of rural Americans and the companies operating in rural communities,” said NTCA Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield in a letter to members of Congress.

Bloomfield stated that under current law, the telecommunications sector is already subject to mandatory, enforceable network operational and reliability standards aimed at protecting critical communications assets and the ability of consumers to utilize them, whether or not emergencies and threats exist. And despite the bill’s so-called “voluntary” compliance practices, companies choosing not to comply would have to explain to Congress why they did not, she said.

“America’s rural communications providers are already hard pressed to remain afloat in the face of a series of FCC regulatory actions that are cutting off their ability to recover their costs and maintain affordable rates for their consumers,” Bloomfield stated. “The last thing this dynamic and entrepreneurial industry needs is further uncertainty created by more job-killing federal regulation of the nature envisioned by this legislation.”

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The National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA) is the premier association representing more than 570 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; educational programs; and an array of employee benefit programs. Visit us at www.ntca.org.