NTCA Statement on FCC Broadband Proposals for Rural Consumers

 

For Immediate Release

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

Arlington, Va. (May 17, 2013) – NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association today issued the following statement from Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield in response to FCC actions to address a number of concerns that small rural telecommunications providers have raised about Universal Service Fund reporting requirements and the lingering need for a targeted broadband support mechanism for areas served by rate-of-return rural carriers.

“These announcements represent significant developments in the continuing debate over how to create regulatory certainty and build a broadband future for consumers and businesses located in the most rural areas of the United States. Given that the FCC is already implementing a broadband-oriented Connect America Fund for consumers in areas served by larger carriers, it’s encouraging to finally see progress toward tailored updates that would enable smaller carriers to also respond more effectively to the broadband demands of their customers. I'm glad too that the commission has provided greater clarity regarding the extent and effectiveness of certain reporting requirements that were already imposing burdens on small rural carriers. While there’s much more to be debated and done, we’re looking forward to an active dialogue about how best to create regulatory certainty and build a meaningful broadband future for all rural consumers.”

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NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association is the premier association representing nearly 900 independent, community-based telecommunications companies that are leading innovation in rural and small-town America. NTCA advocates on behalf of its members in the legislative and regulatory arenas, and it provides training and development; publications and industry events; and an array of employee benefit programs. In an era of exploding technology, deregulation and marketplace competition, NTCA’s members are leading the IP evolution for rural consumers, delivering technologies that make rural communities vibrant places in which to live and do business. Because of their efforts, rural America is fertile ground for innovation in economic development and commerce, education, health care, government services, security and smart energy use. Visit us at www.ntca.org.