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Category: Advocacy

What a Week….and it’s only Wednesday!

What a Week….and it’s only Wednesday!

I always love the energy that comes when NTCA members come into town and hit the Hill and key agencies to share their stories and perspective on building broadband in rural America.  With a ton of recent activity – the recent order from the FCC finding reserves to make up some of the budget shortfall, the FNPRM on the future of building high-cost networks, upcoming CAF II auctions, a new RUS funding program in the Omnibus measure approved by Congress,…

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Commissioner O’Rielly Shares A Valued And Experienced Perspective

Commissioner O’Rielly Shares A Valued And Experienced Perspective

  On the eve of NTCA’s annual Legislative and Policy Conference, where much of  our members time will be spent sharing the rural broadband provider’s perspective on adequate Universal Service Fund with their congressional delegations as well as constructive feedback on next steps regarding infrastructure and Farm Bill proposals, I thought it was a value-add to share a recent blog from FCC Commissioner Mike O’Rielly on the importance of program coordination.  I so appreciate the Commissioner’s common-sense approach and his…

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Minnesota Nice…and Productive!

Minnesota Nice…and Productive!

Hanging out in the Minnesota airport ready to head back to Washington, D.C. later this afternoon and thinking that while my time on the ground with the folks from the Minnesota Telecom Alliance was brief, it was productive and really enjoyable. While news of pending snow made me opt for boots instead of high heels for this trip, the continued winter weather doesn’t slow down NTCA’s Minnesota members at all.  I landed yesterday in time to listen in to the…

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FCC Acts on Rural Broadband Deployment!!

FCC Acts on Rural Broadband Deployment!!

The FCC released today the long awaited Report and Order, Third Order on Reconsideration and FNPRM on Universal Service and that certainly calls for multiple exclamation points!  We are still reviewing the details of the order and related items released by the FCC today, but as a threshold matter, we welcome several aspects of today’s action and are grateful for the release and looking forward to moving forward. First, NTCA has actively engaged in the effort to secure greater, bright-line clarity…

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Bipartisan Effort in Congress Focused on Rural Broadband

Bipartisan Effort in Congress Focused on Rural Broadband

The Bipartisan (a nice word in DC these days) Agriculture and Rural America Task Force in the United States House of Representatives had their first briefing of 2018 today and I was honored to be one of their participants to share some insights into rural broadband challenges and what Congress can do to move the ball forward.  The task force is comprised of members of Congress who do not serve on the House Agriculture Committee but still want to stay…

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A Big Infrastructure/Rural Broadband Day in DC

A Big Infrastructure/Rural Broadband Day in DC

This morning President Donald Trump released details on his long-awaited infrastructure initiative. Both as the lead organization for broadband issues within the “Rebuild Rural” coalition of several hundred stakeholders and through its own work with various offices in the administration and on Capitol Hill, NTCA has long advocated for the inclusion of resources for rural broadband in any infrastructure plans and greatly appreciates President Trump’s focus on rural America in the administration’s recently-released infrastructure initiative. The initiative calls for a…

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A Key Step Forward On Completing Calls To Rural America

A Key Step Forward On Completing Calls To Rural America

It has been years in the making and hundreds of visits, calls, sharing of horror stories, workshops required of large carriers and prodding of policymakers but at 4:45 am this morning, the United States House of Representatives passed the last hurdle and formally voted through S.96, the Improving Rural Call Quality and Reliability Act, a key tool in the toolkit to prevent least-cost routers from dropping calls to rural America.  The legislation passed the House and the Senate in 2017…

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Officially SXSW Cool?

Officially SXSW Cool?

Ok, maybe I still have yet to become a charter member of the “cool kids” club, but I did score an invitation to speak on a panel at SXSW in Austin in March.  That is at least a baby step into coolness, right? I was really excited to have Chris Woods, Executive Director of the LGBT Technology Partnership & Institute reach out to ask me to be on a panel that he would be moderating at this international platform for…

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Sharing the Rural Broadband Story with the House Energy and Commerce Committee

Sharing the Rural Broadband Story with the House Energy and Commerce Committee

With a pending weather report calling for snow (and let’s be honest, the mere threat of snow tends to turn DC into a tizzy), I made sure that this morning was an early-rising adventure with the opportunity to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology on the agenda mid-morning. While the advanced planning on the travel front ended up being unnecessary, the opportunity to share some thoughts on rural broadband deployment – the challenges with…

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Exciting News as the FCC Releases a Proposal to Promote Rural Broadband Deployment

Exciting News as the FCC Releases a Proposal to Promote Rural Broadband Deployment

Today was a fabulous way to start the second week of the new year with the heads up that a draft order, recon order and notice of proposed rulemaking is now circulating among the FCC commissioners to address Universal Service Fund shortfalls and would address in part NTCA’s petition for reconsideration on sufficiency issues. This action is extremely critical and timely given that the high-cost Universal Service Fund (USF) is foundational to any effort to promote and sustain rural broadband…

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