NTCA Statement on Commissioner Pai’s Rural Broadband Comments

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

Arlington, Va. (June 29, 2015)—NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association today issued the following statement from Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield regarding FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai’s proposals to support rural broadband deployment:

“NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association welcomes Commissioner Pai’s thoughts on how to update the high-cost universal service program to address rural consumer demand for broadband. We have long supported a targeted, carefully designed set of updates to the existing high-cost programs to ensure consumers can access robust and affordable broadband, and we have also been working for months with other stakeholders and the FCC to identify an optional path for those carriers that want to voluntarily elect a cost model for universal service support. We continue to believe such a two-part approach can provide a more sustainable platform for universal service in areas served by smaller carriers. 

“Commissioner Pai’s comments—together with the hard work already put into examining these issues by Commissioners O’Rielly and Clyburn, the continuing commitment to simple and straightforward solutions to universal service problems long advocated by Commissioner Rosenworcel, and the strong interest of Chairman Wheeler in completing reform work by the end of the year—all reflect positive momentum toward resolution of one of the most significant universal service challenges in rural America. Getting into the details will be important, but NTCA is eager to continue these collaborative conversations so that much-needed reforms to make universal service more sufficient, predictable and sustainable will be in place in the very near future.”

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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.