Networks that Meet the Needs of Tomorrow a Welcome Focus in Draft Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Order

For Immediate Release
Contact:  Carolyn Just, 703-351-2015, 

Arlington, Va., (January 9, 2020)—NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association issued the following statement from Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield regarding the draft Rural Digital Opportunity Fund order circulated by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on January 8.

“Broadband networks are essential to the vitality of rural communities and the strength of our nation as a whole. When deploying such networks—and certainly when using ratepayer resources to support them—we should ensure that these networks are built for the long-haul, so that we make effective use of public funds and avoid unnecessary and inefficient rebuilds of networks in just a few years’ time. 

NTCA is therefore delighted that the draft Rural Digital Opportunity Fund order circulated by Chairman Pai appears to include a critical provision that would promote deployment of the best possible networks and delivery of the best possible services for the available budget. Such a provision should go a long way toward fulfilling the mission of universal service both now and well into the future, to the benefit of millions of rural Americans who have waited far too long for broadband comparable to what is available in urban areas. 

NTCA looks forward to working with the FCC to finalize this order, and its members are eager to get to work in closing the digital divide in their neighboring rural communities.”