NTCA Applauds House Companion Bill to Coordinate Federal Broadband Programs and Prevent Duplication of Federally-Supported Broadband Infrastructure

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

Arlington, Va. (June 12, 2018)—NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association today released the following statement thanking Rep. Kevin Cramer (R–N.D.) for introducing the Reprioritizing Unserved Rural Areas and Locations for Broadband Act of 2018 (RURAL Broadband Act of 2018). The legislation aims to promote better coordination among federal agencies in order to avoid the prospect of federal programs funding duplicative broadband networks in rural areas and thereby ensure an effective and efficient use of limited taxpayer and ratepayer resources. A companion Senate bill was introduced by Sens. Daines (R–Mont.) and Leahy (D–Vt.) on May 25, 2018.

“Access to broadband is more important than ever for rural communities–including farms and ranches–which is why it’s so important that we use limited federal resources as efficiently as possible to reach rural Americans and sustain rural networks once built,” said NTCA CEO Shirley Bloomfield. “By introducing the RURAL Broadband Act, which ensures federal programs avoid duplication of support for broadband services in areas where other federal programs are already providing support to another provider, Rep. Kevin Cramer is showing that the federal government is not only serious about deploying broadband to all of rural America, but also that federal agencies are using resources effectively to enable and sustain broadband access.”

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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.