NTCA Applauds Senate Committee Passage of Rural Call Quality Legislation, MOBILE NOW Act

For Immediate Release
Contact:  Laura Withers, 703-351-2087, lwithers@ntca.org

Arlington, Va. (January 24, 2017)—NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association today applauded passage by the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee of several bills important to rural telecommunications.

In particular, NTCA thanked Committee Chairman Sen. John Thune (R–S.D.), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D–Minn.), and Sen. Jon Tester (D–Mont.) for their sponsorship of S.96, the “Improving Rural Call Quality and Reliability Act,” seeking to address the ongoing rural call completion epidemic.

“Senate Commerce Committee passage of this legislation is an important step in the long road to resolving call quality and reliability issues that have plagued rural Americans for years,” said NTCA Chief Executive Shirley Bloomfield. “We believe this bill will play a critical role in promoting greater visibility into the call completion problems that threaten public safety, businesses and the general well-being of countless Americans.”

NTCA also thanked Thune and Ranking Member Sen. Bill Nelson (D–Fla.) for their sponsorship of S.19, the “Making Opportunities for Broadband Investment and Limiting Excessive and Needless Obstacles to Wireless (MOBILE NOW) Act,” which would address a variety of challenges faced by carriers seeking to deploy wireless and wireline infrastructure alike in rural America.

“Particularly as our nation looks to promote advanced communications, it will become more critical than ever to ensure the availability of sufficient spectrum and facilitate the ability to install robust wireline and wireless facilities capable of handling the vastly increased consumer demands that such services enable,” Bloomfield said. “Therefore, NTCA applauds the aim of MOBILE NOW to streamline the deployment of communications facilities and expand the definition of the types of infrastructure covered by the streamlined process.

“NTCA looks forward to working with Chairman Thune, Ranking Member Nelson and other members of the Senate on these bills and the many others approved today by the Commerce Committee as part of a comprehensive approach to update and advance our nation’s communications goals.”

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NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association is the premier association representing more than 800 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.