RUS Administrator, FCC Staff Address NTCA Legislative & Policy Conference

For Immediate Release
Contact: Hillary Crowder, 703-351-2086,

Arlington, Va. (April 7, 2014) – NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association kicked off its 2014 Legislative & Policy Conference today in Washington, D.C. More than 500 association members traveled to the nation’s capital to discuss issues critical to rural telecom providers with industry leaders, advocates and policymakers. 

The conference kicked off with NTCA Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield delivering an update on policy initiatives and advocacy efforts at the state and national levels. Keynote speaker John Padalino, administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service, then outlined the agency’s key initiatives, including investment in rural America as a way to attract and retain population in rural areas. 

The morning session continued with a congressional staff panel including Ray Baum, senior policy adviser for the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology; Hank Kilgore, legislative assistant to Sen. Mark Pryor (D–Ark.); Margaret McCarthy, professional staff member of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology; and Greg Orlando, counsel for the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet.

NTCA Senior Vice President of Policy Michael Romano also hosted a communications policy discussion with FCC advisers Amy Bender and Rebekah Goodheart. A panel discussion featuring industry leaders and advocates wrapped up the first day of the conference.

The conference will continue tomorrow with remarks by Reps. Jason Smith (R–Mo.) and Bruce Braley (D–Iowa), as well as Sen. Mark Begich (D–Alaska). While on Capitol Hill, members will advocate for standalone broadband support.

Watch the event video online.



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