NTCA Statement on FCC Chairman Wheeler’s Comments About USF Caps

For Immediate Release
Contact: Laura Withers, 703-351-2087, lwithers@ntca.org 


Arlington, Va. (December 12, 2013) – NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association today issued the following statement from Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield:

 "NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association has been pressing at every turn for greater transparency, accuracy, predictability and sufficiency in federal universal service support—particularly in the wake of changes to such support in 2011 that included volatile statistical caps penalizing investment decisions made years before. We are therefore greatly encouraged by, and grateful for, Chairman Tom Wheeler’s comment in today’s House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing that he has directed FCC staff to prepare a plan to consider the elimination of these statistical caps. We are also thankful to Commissioners Ajit Pai and Jessica Rosenworcel for their continuing leadership in expressing concern about the effects of these caps on broadband deployment, and to the many lawmakers who have written to the FCC over the past many months sharing similar concerns. Rural carriers are committed to working to fulfill the network compact that Chairman Wheeler has cited as a priority of his tenure, and the ultimate elimination of these caps—together with some common-sense updates to universal service policy to reflect a broadband era—will be essential in enabling telcos to recover the real costs of providing reasonably comparable services in high-cost areas and thus help fulfill the chairman’s vision."


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.