NTCA Testimony on Rural Infrastructure

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

Arlington, Va. (July 19, 2017)—Jennifer Otwell, general manager of Totelcom Communications, LLC (De Leon, Texas) and member of NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association, testified today before the House Agriculture Committee at the hearing “The State of Infrastructure in Rural America.” The following is excerpted from Otwell’s written testimony:

“Robust broadband infrastructure is crucial to the current and future success of rural America. But the characteristics that enable the unique beauty and enterprise of rural America make it very expensive to deploy advanced communications services there. Our nation’s small, rural telecom providers are deploying faster broadband throughout their service areas, but no carrier— regardless of size—can deliver high-speed, high-capacity broadband in rural America without the ability to justify and then recover the initial and ongoing costs of sustaining infrastructure investment in high-cost areas.

 A legislative infrastructure initiative offers a unique opportunity to provide the resources needed to make these investments, and mechanisms that ensure efficiency and accountability in the expenditure of funds are already in place. Our industry is excited to participate in this conversation regarding broadband infrastructure initiatives, and we look forward to working with policymakers and other stakeholders on a comprehensive infrastructure strategy to ensure that all Americans will experience the numerous agricultural, economic, health, and public safety benefits of broadband.”

 The full text of the submitted written testimony is available online

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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.