NTCA Members Participate in Spirit Fly-In, Meetings With FCC on IP Transition


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

Arlington, Va. (January 13, 2014) – Several members of NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association traveled to the nation’s capital January 9–10 to meet with members of Congress and FCC staff on key policy issues, including the ongoing IP transition.

Six NTCA members from community-based telecommunications providers in South Carolina, Minnesota, South Dakota and Kansas participated in the association’s grassroots SPIRIT (Supporting Policy Initiatives for Rural Independent Telecommunications) fly-in.

The telecom executives also met with representatives of the FCC’s Technology Transitions Policy Task Force and other commission staff to discuss the IP transition.

The group discussed a variety of topics, including the importance of stand-alone broadband in rural communities, the infrastructure needed to offer IP-based voice services, how backup power is handled for IP technologies, the challenges of IP interconnection, and the role of fixed wireless services and anchor institutions in deploying advanced communications.

The meeting comes on the heels of FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s recent announcement of the commission’s intent to pursue new rules regarding the technological transition, including potential trials relating to the ongoing transition to IP-based technology.

NTCA and rural telecom providers have been at the forefront of discussions about the ongoing IP evolution. In a petition for rulemaking filed in November 2012, NTCA urged the FCC to promote regulatory certainty and sustain the ongoing evolution of the nation’s communications networks to IP-based infrastructure by providing targeted, thoughtful regulatory relief and by establishing economic incentives to spur greater deployment and maintenance of IP-enabled networks.

NTCA encourages all members to participate in grassroots advocacy and relationship-building events to ensure the rural voice is heard. For more information on SPIRIT initiatives, contact the government affairs team at ga@ntca.org.

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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.