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NTCA, Allies Take Stand for Sustainable Rural Broadband Over Questionable Quick Fixes

Arlington, Va., (May 19, 2011) - The National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA), along with the National Exchange Carrier Association (NECA), the Organization for the Promotion and Advancement of Small Telecommunications Companies (OPASTCO) and the Western Telecommunications Alliance (WTA), together with several concurring state and regional associations, filed reply comments in the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) regarding Universal Service Fund (USF) and intercarrier compensation (ICC) reform.

In the reply comments, NTCA and its allies noted that that comments filed by the industry and many state regulators, as well as the state members of the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service, confirm NTCA's concerns regarding the proposals set forth in the NPRM. Individual telcos, their consultants and other commenters have demonstrated how proposed changes to USF and ICC rules will harm rural consumers and undermine existing broadband deployment and adoption rates.

All of these comments underscore that the commission should not put at risk the delicate balance that makes quality voice and broadband services available and affordable to wide swaths of rural America on a "bet" that novel, untested reforms might prompt the deployment of broadband in the outlying portions of larger carriers' serving areas.

View the rural associations' reply comments.

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The National Telecommunications Cooperative Association is the premier association representing over 570 locally owned and controlled telecommunications cooperatives and commercial companies throughout rural and small-town America. NTCA provides its members with legislative, regulatory and industry representation; meetings; publications and educational programs; and an array of employee benefit programs. Visit us at www.ntca.org.Contact NTCA at 703-351-2037