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For Immediate Release

Contact: Laura Withers, 703-351-2086, lwithers@ntca.org
             Wendy Mann, 703-351-2087, wmann@ntca.org

 

Arlington, Va. (December 3, 2012) – A bipartisan group of more than 30 senators led by Sen. Tim Johnson (S.D.) sent a letter to the FCC today saying that call completion problems plaguing rural communities have continued for far too long and must be addressed with additional investigation to put an end to the epidemic once and for all.

NTCA Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield issued the following statement:

“I want to thank Sen. Johnson and all of the senators who signed this letter to the FCC for their leadership on this issue, which has serious economic and safety consequences for rural Americans. Tests conducted by NTCA and our rural partners have proven what I hear over and over again from small carriers all over the country: that instances of calls not completing or resulting in ‘dead air’ are rampant in rural communities and in many cases are getting worse. While the FCC’s declaratory ruling nearly 10 months ago was a positive step, it has become obvious that more investigation and actual enforcement is necessary to put an end to the bad practices underlying this problem.”

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For Immediate Release


Contact: Laura Withers, 703-351-2086, lwithers@ntca.org
Wendy Mann, 703-351-2087, wmann@ntca.org

Arlington, Va. (November 19, 2012) – Signaling the strong desire of the nation’s small, independent telecommunications providers to continue leading the delivery of affordable, high-quality telecommunications services to rural communities and ensuring universal service in an “all-IP world,” the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA) today petitioned the FCC to undertake a carefully calibrated review of regulations that may affect the evolution of technologies within communications networks.

In its petition for rulemaking, NTCA urged the FCC to promote regulatory certainty and sustain the ongoing evolution of the nation’s communications networks to IP-based infrastructure by providing targeted, thoughtful regulatory relief and establishing economic incentives to spur greater deployment and maintenance of IP-enabled networks.

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For Immediate Release

Contacts: 
Jeff Dupree, NECA, 202-682-2495, jdupree@neca.org
Laura Withers, NTCA, 703-351-2086, lwithers@ntca.org
Martha Silver, OPASTCO, 202-659-0828, mks@opastco.org
Derrick Owens, WTA, 202-548-0202, derrick@w-t-a.org

Complaints on the rise as consumers grow frustrated with repeated occurrences of ‘dead air’

Washington (November 15, 2012) – Consumer complaints about occurrences of calls failing to complete to rural communities are steady or getting worse, according to the results of a survey conducted by four rural telecommunications associations.

The National Exchange Carrier Association (NECA), the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA), the Organization for the Promotion and Advancement of Small Telecommunications Companies (OPASTCO) and the Western Telecommunications Alliance (WTA) today released the findings of a joint call completion survey conducted to determine the volume of consumer complaints related to calls that are not being delivered to rural areas for completion. More than 200 rural local exchange carriers in 39 states responded to the survey, which was conducted over a three-week period in October 2012.

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Contact: Laura Withers, 703-351-2086, lwithers@ntca.org
Wendy Mann, 703-351-2087, wmann@ntca.org

November 19, 2012

Background: The FCC on November 16 issued an order reconsidering the process for seeking a waiver of last year’s USF/ICC order limiting universal service support for some rural telcos. Another move by the FCC made changes to financial reporting requirements for telcos.

The following statement is from NTCA Senior Vice President of Policy Michael Romano:

“For months now, NTCA has pressed for less burdensome waiver processes with standards that more faithfully tie back to the universal service principles in federal law, and for more rational financial reporting requirements that do not impose massive audit costs or public company levels of disclosure on small private businesses. These were common-sense changes that needed to be made, and while there’s more to be done, we’re pleased that the FCC took these positive steps.”

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NTCA and RTG Provide FCC With Additional Evidence That Inter-carrier Voice and Data Roaming Rates Are Grossly Anticompetitive

For Immediate Release

Contact: Laura Withers, 703-351-2086, lwithers@ntca.org

Arlington, Va. (November 9, 2012) The Rural Telecommunications Group, Inc. (RTG) and the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA) today filed an ex parte letter with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) that reiterates the long-standing complaint by small and rural wireless operators that the country’s largest operators – especially the Twin Bells, AT&T and Verizon Wireless – continue to charge competitors wholesale data roaming rates that are vastly higher than the retail data usage rates paid by the subscribers of those very same nationwide operators. Attached to the RTG and NTCA ex parte is an in-depth research report created by iGR, a telecommunications industry market research analyst. The iGR report reveals that when it comes to offering retail data rate plans to their own customers, large operators are rather competitive and typically charge prices – even charges for “overage” usage – that are at or below the industry average. However, when offering that same network access at the wholesale level to smaller, rural mobile competitors, the roaming charges levied are 10 to 20 times greater.

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