NTCA Statement on U.S. Court of Appeals Ruling on USF, ICC Petitions

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

Arlington, Va. (May 23, 2014) – NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association today issued the following statements from Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield regarding the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit ruling on the petitions for reconsideration filed by NTCA and multiple other stakeholders regarding Universal Service Fund and intercarrier compensation reforms: 

“While today’s court decision is disappointing, NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association continues to work with the FCC and Congress to address many of the concerns rural carriers have raised over the last two-plus years about aspects of the 2011 Universal Service Fund and intercarrier compensation reforms. Through hundreds of meetings with commissioners and staff and engagement with members of Congress, we have already achieved several key course corrections since 2011, including the elimination of the quantile regression analysis caps and reinstatement of safety net additive support.  

The court decision could have helped to address several still lingering concerns with respect to intercarrier compensation changes and the establishment of more proper and sufficient universal service budgets, but those are matters we will now look to address through further engagement and potential course corrections in ongoing conversations with the FCC and Congress. We also expect that certain of the court’s findings—such as the states retaining the authority to define network edges for interconnection and the need for the FCC to re-examine its budget in a few years—could be helpful in those conversations.”

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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.