NTCA Testimony on Broadband Investment, Impact of USF Order

For Immediate Release
Contact: Laura Withers, 703-351-2087, lwithers@ntca.org

Arlington, Va. (March 12, 2019)— Denny Law, general manager and chief executive officer of Golden West Telecommunications Cooperative (Wall, S.D.), and member of NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association, testified today during the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation and the Internet hearing, “The Impact of Broadband Investments in Rural America.” The following is excerpted from Law’s oral testimony:

“Due to support from hundreds of members of Congress, including many on this committee, the FCC took landmark steps last December to eliminate [Universal Service Fund] budget shortfalls that had undermined advancement of networks in rural areas. This order is poised to put the USF programs on more sound footing for years to come.

“Just in our serving area, the FCC’s order will translate to direct benefits for rural South Dakotans. Prior to the December order, Golden West had postponed nearly $4 million in network upgrades for 2019 due to the ever-increasing cuts in USF support. This year, however, we have renewed our efforts to improve or provide broadband to the communities of Murdo, White River, Hot Springs, Kadoka, Menno, Interior and Vivian.  And, with even more time now to adjust our year 2020 plans, Golden West expects to increase its capital budget for construction considerably and reach even more locations than those identified for 2019.

The full text of the submitted written testimony is available online.