FRS Hosts ‘Broadband 101’ Event on Capitol Hill

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


Arlington, Va. (February 24, 2014)
– The Foundation for Rural Service (FRS) on February 20 hosted “Broadband 101,ˮ an educational session and panel discussion for members of Congress and their staff on the key issues surrounding broadband technology, deployment and adoption. 

Panelists included Vantage Point Solutions President Larry Thompson, Sen. Byron Dorgan (D–N.D.), Hilda Gay Legg, a former administrator of the Rural Utilities Service (RUS), and Carissa Swenson, an FRS board member, Consolidated Telcom (Dickinson, N.D) director, and president & founder TechTECS. JSI Executive Vice President Leo Staurulakis served as the moderator. Panelists discussed the IP evolution, the Universal Service Fund, and the various challenges and opportunities that surround broadband technology. 

Specifically, panelists discussed the passage of the Agricultural Act of 2014, which will provide nearly $100 billion annually through fiscal year 2018 for programs such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Broadband Loan Program administered by the RUS, as well as the role broadband deployment can play in economic growth for small businesses in rural areas. 

Panelists also fielded questions about the role states can play in ensuring rural areas have access to broadband and the importance of the E-Rate program that provides funding to support broadband networks in the nation’s schools and libraries.

“‘Broadband 101’ is a wonderful opportunity for FRS to educate congressional staff about the challenges of providing and sustaining robust broadband service out in rural communities,ˮ said FRS Executive Director Elizabeth Crocker. “We welcome any chance to engage with the people who have the power to initiate change and improvement in the quality of life for people in rural America.”

The foundation organizes an event like this each year to promote rural telecom and to educate those who have the ability to impact its future. 

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The Foundation for Rural Service (FRS), in cooperation with NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association and its members, seeks to sustain and enhance the quality of life throughout rural America by advancing an understanding of rural telecommunications issues. FRS is committed to educational achievement in rural communities, recognizing that tomorrows economic and civic development depends on the involvement and commitment of todays youth. Visit us at www.frs.org. 

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.