NTCA Comments on FCC Chairman’s Remarks About Interconnection

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

Arlington, Va. (October 6, 2014)—NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association issued the following statement from Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield regarding FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s remarks at the COMPTEL PLUS Fall 2014 Convention & EXPO: 

“NTCA’s small, rural network operators have been at the forefront of innovation and technological evolution for decades, deploying IP and other advanced technologies to provide broadband access to over 90% of the consumers in their coverage areas—the most rugged portions of rural America. But this success has been built upon predictable and sufficient universal service mechanisms and carefully constructed rules that ensure these consumers aren’t left behind or cut off from the rest of America.

“We’ve already seen in the rural call completion problems what can happen when there aren’t effective rules or enforcement mechanisms to enable the seamless exchange of data between networks. All of these innovations will be for naught—and consumers will suffer—if we treat technological advancement as an excuse to toss out or water down rules that serve the core principles of consumer protection, competition and universal service. NTCA applauds the chairman’s recognition of the importance of reasonable interconnection terms and conditions in serving each of these principles.” 

### 

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.