FCC Commissioner, Congressional Staff Address NTCA Legislative & Policy Conference

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

Arlington, Va. (April 20, 2015)—NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association kicked off its 2015 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 and advocacy efforts at the state and national levels. Keynote speaker Mignon Clyburn, FCC commissioner, then outlined the agency’s key initiatives, including updates to the Universal Service Fund’s high-cost and lifeline support programs.

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; Margaret McCarthy, professional staff member for the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology; Greg Orlando, counsel for the Senate Communications, Technology and the Internet Subcommittee and Shawn Bone, counsel for the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation and the Internet. Participants also heard from National Telecommunications and Information Administration Director of Program Services Aimee Meacham and FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s chief of staff.

NTCA Vice President of Advocacy Initiatives Tom Wacker moderated with staff from the U.S Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service while Senior Vice President of Policy Michael Romano led the regulatory program. The NTCA government affairs team also held a legislative program to explain key talking points and issues for discussion during congressional visits.

The conference will continue tomorrow with remarks by Rep. David Young (R–Iowa)
Sen. Joe Manchin (D–W.Va.). While conducting more than 200 congressional visits Tuesday, members will advocate for standalone broadband support.

Conference pictures are available online.

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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.