NTCA Testimony on Broadband, Rural Development

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

Arlington, Va. (March 9, 2017)— Craig Cook, chief operations officer of Hill Country Telephone Cooperative, testified today on behalf of NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association during the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Commodity Exchanges, Energy, and Credit hearing, “The Next Farm Bill: Rural Development & Energy Programs.” The following is excerpted from Cook’s written testimony:

“The immense economic, health care, education, and public safety benefits of high-speed broadband are well known by now.  A study completed last year revealed that rural telco investment contributed $24.1 billion to the U.S. economy in 2015 and supported nearly 70,000 jobs.

“Broadband helps solve the problem of distance by opening up new education and job opportunities for rural Americans, connecting rural veterans and others with health care professionals, helping rural business tap into global markets, and of course, helping farmers and ranchers use the Internet to analyze weather data, manage nutrient application, map crop yields, and adjust planting for the next season with modern precision agriculture tools.

“Rural areas are unique. While they need broadband to compete and our nation needs rural broadband so everyone can share in what rural America offers, the vast distances and low density of rural areas undermine the business case for the enormous capital and operational costs of deploying networks.  A small rural broadband provider can’t walk into a typical bank and expect financing for a network that measures payback over a period of decades.”

The full text of the submitted written testimony is available online. 

A video archive of the hearing is available online.


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.