NTCA Applauds Members of Congress for Urging Action on Long-Term USF High-Cost Program Sufficiency and Sustainability

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

Arlington, Va. (May 15, 2018)—NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association today thanked members of the House of Representatives and the Senate for calling on the FCC to address the long-term budget sufficiency of the Universal Service Fund (USF) High-Cost program, a necessary step to continue closing the digital divide.

The USF High-Cost program plays an essential role in helping rural areas experience the benefits of robust broadband by supporting and sustaining networks in areas that are sparsely populated and costly to serve. Letters signed by 130 members of the House and 63 members of the Senate encourage the FCC to adopt longer-term USF budget solutions that will provide rural Americans with a meaningful opportunity to obtain voice and broadband services on a basis that is reasonably comparable to what other Americans enjoy.

“Providing all Americans with broadband requires construction and ongoing operation of cutting-edge communications networks in the hardest-to-serve areas of our country. Sufficient and predictable USF support is essential to provide the business case for private sector investment and to sustain these networks once built, which is why I couldn’t be more thankful for the support of 130 House Members and 63 Senators who sent letters to the FCC today asking for a long-term solution to the budget insufficiencies in the Universal Service High-Cost Program,” said NTCA Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield. “We are particularly grateful to Reps. Kevin Cramer and Collin Peterson and Sens. Deb Fischer and Amy Klobuchar for their leadership on these letters and for garnering the support of their colleagues to build a brighter, better-connected future for rural America.”

The text of the House and Senate letters 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 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.