NTCA Statement on FCC Open Meeting Activity

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

Arlington, Va., (November 16, 2017)—NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association today issued the following statement from Senior Vice President of Industry Affairs and Business Development Michael Romano in response to actions adopted by the FCC on “Next Generation” broadcast television standard, accelerating wireline deployment, and replacement utility poles during today’s open commission meeting.

 

“Next Generation” Broadcast Television Standard (ATSC 3.0)

“NTCA supports choice and voluntary adoption of the new broadcast standard. History and all available evidence make clear, however, that ‘voluntary’ is a concept often sorely lacking in the context of retransmission consent negotiations. There should be little to no doubt that broadcasters will leverage the broken retransmission consent process to force small MVPDs to carry the new standard far in advance of consumer demand. We can only hope at this point that the Commission will protect rural consumers, many of whom are captive to the retransmission consent process because they cannot receive over-the-air broadcast content, from even greater increases in video costs by holding broadcasters true to the notion that migration to this standard will indeed be ‘voluntary.’”

Accelerating Wireline Deployment

“NTCA applauds the streamlining of the prescriptive notifications required for network transitions. Common-sense rules of the road are essential to protect consumers and promote deployment, and today’s changes restore such common sense to far-reaching, ambiguous rules that were creating substantial uncertainty and threatened to undermine, rather than promote, deployment of advanced networks.”

Replacement Utility Poles Report & Order

“NTCA supports the order adopted today to streamline the historical review process for replacement of utility poles. This common-sense provision will ensure that the wired and wireless infrastructure necessary for the emergence of next-generation services can be built while promoting continued protection of historical properties at the same time. NTCA looks forward to working with the Commission to reduce barriers to the deployment of the underlying infrastructure necessary to make 5G and other advanced services possible.” 

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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 transformative technological advancements, regulatory challenges and marketplace competition, NTCA members are leading the technological evolution for rural consumers, delivering robust and high-quality services over future-proof networks 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, e-commerce, health care, agriculture and education, and it contributes billions of dollars to the U.S. economy each year. Visit us at www.ntca.org.