NTCA Commends 37 House Members for Signing Letter to FCC Requesting Action on USF High-Cost Budget Shortfall

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

Arlington, Va. (October 3, 2017)—NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association today thanked members of the House of Representatives for sending a letter to the FCC requesting the agency address the high-cost Universal Service Fund (USF) program budget shortfall to promote sustainable broadband deployment in our country’s hardest-to-serve rural areas.

The bipartisan letter, led by Reps. Collin Peterson (D–Minn.) and Kevin Cramer (R–N.D.), follows up on USF budget concerns highlighted in letters sent to the FCC last May by dozens of members of Congress. Today’s letter specifically addresses the need for a review of the high-cost USF budget and proposes an interim solution that could help mitigate the arbitrary budget constraints currently hindering broadband infrastructure investments pending that review.

"We are grateful to Reps. Peterson and Cramer for their leadership on rural broadband issues by urging the FCC to address the USF budget shortfall that is hampering the availability and affordability of broadband in rural America. They, and the other members of Congress that signed this letter, understand the critical role of a sufficiently funded high-cost USF program in promoting broadband investment and adoption," said NTCA CEO Shirley Bloomfield. "This bipartisan letter highlights the continued dedication of Congress in making sure the USF mechanisms work as intended to prioritize consumers and close the digital divide for rural communities."

The full letter is available here.

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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 rapidly progressing technology, regulatory changes and marketplace competition, NTCA’s members are leading the technological evolution for rural consumers, delivering networks and services 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.