NTCA Response to Mobility Fund Order and Enhanced Transparency Exemption

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

Arlington, Va. (February 23 2017)— NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association today issued the following statements in response to actions by the FCC on two issues important to rural telecommunications.

On the adoption of the Mobility Fund Phase II order:

“NTCA’s most recent wireless survey indicated that dozens of our members have invested millions of dollars to deliver reliable mobile wireless services in rural America,” said NTCA Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield. “Universal service support helped enable and sustain many of the investments in such deeply rural markets, and it’s important that the FCC not ‘pull the rug out from under’ these small businesses and their customers.

“This is why NTCA argued for both careful determinations of where support is still needed and a reasonable transition where it is found that support should wind down. We appreciate the commission’s recognition of the need to more accurately identify the areas in need of support and look forward to working the agency as it develops a robust challenge process. We hope that this order, once released, will confirm a commitment to sustaining consumer access to mobile wireless services in rural America.”

On the adoption of a small business exemption from Open Internet enhanced reporting requirements:

“NTCA worked hard alongside a group of like-minded stakeholders to ensure that small businesses would not be burdened by substantial new compliance obligations that could easily overwhelm their operations and distract from delivery of services to consumers,” Bloomfield said. “While it took longer to get here than everyone expected and hoped, we are grateful to the FCC for restoring much-needed relief from these rules. NTCA members are delighted to be able to focus more instead on the business of delivering high-quality broadband services to rural consumers.”

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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.