NTCA Applauds Inclusion of Broadband Funding in Omnibus

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

Arlington, Va. (March 21, 2018)—NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association today issued the following statement regarding the inclusion of $600 million of federal funding for rural broadband in the recently released omnibus appropriations bill.

“NTCA commends today’s action by Congress to include $600 million in the omnibus for rural broadband deployment through a new pilot program to be administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS),” said NTCA CEO Shirley Bloomfield.

“Small telcos have a proven track record in overcoming challenges in rural areas to provide robust, sustainable broadband, and their many efforts in conjunction with long-standing, highly-effective U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) backing are the embodiment of precisely the kinds of public-private partnerships that our nation should be leveraging to tackle such challenges in the future.

“We are excited by the promise of the resources provided within the omnibus and the prospect of continuing our members’ work with RUS. We are grateful to Congress for its attention to rural broadband concerns, and consistent with the directives of Congress, we hope that this new effort will build upon, and be coordinated with, existing broadband-focused initiatives within RUS and at the Federal Communications Commission to realize the shared goal of robust, affordable and sustainable universal broadband.  We also look forward to further conversations with Congress, the agencies and other policymakers about additional steps and resources needed to deliver on this vision.”

NTCA has consistently advocated for additional resources needed to make the business case for sustainable investments in rural broadband along with coordination between federal broadband programs and the use of accurate data to measure where federal resources are needed.

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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.