NTCA Members Show Commitment to Solving Rural Broadband Challenges, Accept USDA Loans and Grants

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

Arlington, Va. (November 7, 2017)—The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on November 6 named 13 NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association member companies as loan and grant recipients under a program providing more than $200 million in telecommunications infrastructure investments. The loans and grants will be used to build broadband infrastructure capable of serving hundreds of unserved and underserved rural communities.

“Small, rural providers have been serving their communities for decades, first with telephone service and, for nearly the last two decades, with 21st century broadband infrastructure as well,” said NTCA Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield. “Small telcos have a proven track record in overcoming communications challenges in rural areas, and their efforts in conjunction with USDA are precisely the kinds of public-private partnerships that our country should be leveraging to tackle such challenges in the future.

“Long-term, low-interest loans are a vital part of the equation, but of equal importance is a sufficiently funded Universal Service Fund (USF) to ensure broadband investments and affordable services can continue in rural communities. We look forward to continuing to work closely with USDA to reach our shared goal of expanding sustainable, affordable broadband access in rural areas.”

Details on the new loans and grants can be found here.

### 

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 transformative technological advancements, regulatory challenges and marketplace competition, NTCA members are leading the technological evolution for rural consumers, delivering robust and high-quality services over future-proof networks 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, e-commerce, health care, agriculture and education, and it contributes billions of dollars to the U.S. economy each year. Visit us at www.ntca.org.