NTCA Applauds Senate Passage of Significant Telecom Legislation

For Immediate Release
Contact:  Kelly Wismer, 703-351-2015, kwismer@ntca.org 

Arlington, Va. (August 4, 2017)—NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association today applauded Senate passage of several bills important to rural telecommunications.

In particular, NTCA thanked bill sponsors Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D–Minn.), Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Chairman Sen. John Thune (R–S.D.), 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 passage of this legislation is another critical 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 is important in bringing greater transparency to the call routing marketplace, and it sends a critical, bipartisan message that now is not the time to backslide on efforts to address call completion problems that threaten public safety, businesses and the general well-being of countless Americans. We look forward to working with the Senate and House of Representatives, which approved a similar bill earlier this year, to ensure the measure is signed into law.”

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 aims to address a variety of challenges faced by carriers seeking to deploy wireless and wireline infrastructure alike in rural America.

“As our nation looks to promote advanced communications, it is essential to ensure the availability of sufficient spectrum and also remove barriers that can hamper the deployment of robust wireline and wireless facilities capable of handling the vastly increased consumer demands that such services enable,” Bloomfield said.

Finally, NTCA welcomed the bipartisan passage of the following bills aimed at protecting consumers and enhancing innovation related to the Internet of Things: S. 88, the Developing Innovation and Growing the Internet of Things (DIGIT) Act, introduced by Sens. Deb Fischer (R–Neb.), Cory S. Gardner (R–Colo.), Cory A. Booker (D–N.J.), and Brian E. Schatz (D–Hawaii); S. 123, Kari’s Law Act, introduced by Sens. Fischer, Klobuchar, John Cornyn (R–Texas), Ted Cruz (R–Texas), Thune, and Schatz; and S. 134, the Spoofing Prevention Act, introduced by Sens. Nelson, Fischer, Roy D. Blunt (R–Mo.), and Klobuchar.

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NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association is the premier association representing nearly 850 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.