NTCA Statement on IP Transition Technology Trials

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

Arlington, Va. (January 30, 2014) – NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association today issued the following statement from Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield regarding the FCC's adoption of the IP transition technology trials order: 

“Small rural telecommunications providers have seized the lead in implementing technology transitions in their communities, edging out broadband and IP-based technologies to some of the farthest reaches of the United States. To build upon these efforts, NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association members have already conveyed interest in participating in any trials or experiments to the extent they can help promote and sustain core values of universal service and consumer protection in rural America. 

“In particular, any rural broadband experiments must hold fast and true to the fundamental statutory principles of universal service, and must help ensure that high-quality, advanced services become and remain both available and affordable across all of rural America. If implemented in this way, today’s announced experiments could help restart what has unfortunately been, in recent years, a stalled process of edging out broadband-capable networks in many rural areas, so we look forward eagerly to seeing the details of the order. But as we have highlighted to the commission in recent weeks, any possible experiments must recognize that universal service contemplates service to all Americans rather than a lucky few that any given provider may choose to serve, and any experiments must not permit creative carving up of rural areas just to cream skim larger customers or more densely populated areas at the very real expense of those left behind. 

“NTCA’s members stand ready to help the commission in delivering on the true promise of universal access throughout high-cost rural areas, and we are hopeful that the FCC’s announcement will further this shared objective.ˮ

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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.