Broadband Key to Job Creation and Retention in Rural New York, Gibson Tells NTCA

For Immediate Release
Contact: Hillary Crowder, 703-351-2086, hcrowder@ntca.org

Arlington, Va., (July 16, 2014) – Access to high-speed broadband is of critical importance to the ongoing employment of residents of rural New York, said Rep. Chris Gibson (R–N.Y.) in the first of a two-part episode of “Broadband Beat With Shirley Bloomfield.”

In a wide-ranging interview with Bloomfield from his Capitol Hill office, Gibson explained the role broadband plays in job creation and retention for his constituents, describing Internet service as a key piece of infrastructure.

“Often we talk about roads and bridges, water and sewer, energy ... this is all very important, but broadband is a key piece of this,” said Gibson.

Gibson also shared how the Rural Utilities Service Broadband Loan Program is key in helping build out broadband in rural areas and how access to broadband can help local businesses and entrepreneurs grow by reaching more customers through online advertising and finding efficiencies with online payment technologies.

“When [local businesses] don’t have access to high-speed broadband, they’re not able to compete. … It hampers their business,” said Gibson.

Gibson also talked about a request he initiated urging the Government Accountability Office to conduct a report to measure the effects of the FCC’s Universal Service Fund reforms in advancing the country’s broadband goals. More than 60 members of the House also signed the letter.

“This work on broadband is an example of constituent-driven legislation,” said Gibson, who shared how important it had been to see first-hand the operation, staff and communities of rural New York telcos to understand the unique challenges they face and the economic impact of their services.

“Broadband Beat With Shirley Bloomfield” is a video series by NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association featuring interviews between NTCA Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield and policy, telecom and technology leaders who are working to drive the rural broadband industry forward.

Part two of this episode is now available. For more information about the video series, visit www.ntca.org/broadbandbeat or the NTCA YouTube channel.

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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.