NTCA Statement Regarding FCC Chairman Wheeler’s Remarks on Competition Policy

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

Arlington, Va. (September 4, 2014)—NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association issued the following statement from Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield regarding FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s remarks today at 1776: 

“Small, community-based telecommunications providers have long been leaders in the IP evolution, taking responsible steps to edge out robust broadband-capable networks in rural parts of the United States consistent with Chairman Wheeler’s call in his speech today. But more work is needed both to upgrade these networks over time to meet the kinds of speed demands rightly identified by Chairman Wheeler, and to then ensure the sustainability of the network investments made to reach such speeds.  

“The success that rural providers have achieved to date has relied upon a critical mix of private capital and government loan and grant programs to help finance the construction of these networks, together with predictable and sufficient universal service programs that then enable ongoing operations and the offering of quality services at affordable rates atop those networks once built. It’s important that we sustain this successful mix of programs in a broadband era, and leveraging the know-how and success of rural providers that have been delivering on the mission of universal service for decades must be seen as a critical component of any rural solution. 

“NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association looks forward to working with the commission to establish predictable and sufficient universal service programs that will provide a sustainable answer to Chairman Wheeler’s challenge to ensure rural America is not ‘behind the broadband curve.’”

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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.