NTCA Applauds Congressional Letters Encouraging Standalone Broadband Support

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

Arlington, Va. (May 6, 2014) – NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association today issued the following statement from Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield regarding letters led by Rep. Cory Gardner (R–Colo.), and Sens. John Thune (R–S.D.) and Amy Klobuchar (D–Minn.) that were sent to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler with a combined 133 signatures from members of the House and Senate backing updates to the universal service support mechanisms for rate-of-return carriers that reflect increasing consumer demand for broadband: 

“NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association thanks Representative Gardner, Senators Thune and Klobuchar, and their 130 congressional colleagues for their leadership in encouraging the FCC to adopt a mechanism that would provide Universal Service Fund support for advanced networks when subscribers in high-cost areas of the country served by rural, rate-of-return-regulated carriers choose to subscribe to broadband services only rather than also purchasing local voice services.

An updated and carefully tailored Connect America Fund mechanism for smaller rural providers is needed to ensure that consumers can make effective choices among services delivered by these advanced networks and that our members will be able to continue providing high-quality, affordable broadband services in hard-to-serve rural areas. We look forward to working with Congress and the FCC to finally bring this vision to reality and create an environment that fosters sustainable and affordable voice and broadband services for all rural consumers.”

Read the full text of the House and Senate letters online.

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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.