NTCA Statements on E-Rate Modernization, Rural Broadband Experiments Rulemakings

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

Arlington, Va. (July 11, 2014)—NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association today issued the following statements from Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield regarding the FCC’s rulemakings on E-Rate modernization and rural broadband experiments: 

Regarding the adoption of a report and order on the Connect America Fund rural broadband experiments:

“NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association and its members are eager to engage with the FCC in any and every effort aimed at ensuring both the availability and sustainability of rural broadband. Hundreds of our member companies have already expressed initial interest in participating in these rural broadband experiments, consistent with their decades-long commitment to solving the communications needs of rural communities. We are interested in seeing the precise rules that will govern these experiments, and we are hopeful that they will help further the mission of universal service consistent with applicable law.” 

Regarding the adoption of a report and order regarding E-Rate modernization for digital learning:

“NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association supports efforts to ensure that our nation’s schools and libraries have sustainable access to robust and affordable broadband. An initial focus on deploying Wi-Fi where it is needed for internal connections can be very useful to make sure that the benefits of robust broadband connections make it past the schoolhouse door and into each classroom. At the same time, it is clear that the challenges faced by each school or library are different. Consistent with the availability and affordability analytical framework that NTCA has proposed to the FCC, we need to make sure that limited E-Rate program resources are used effectively to address unique problems faced by individual institutions rather than being consumed for any single purpose.”

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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.