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Category: Advocacy

The Day After….

The Day After….

The phones are quiet, the ads for simple things like cars and toothpaste are back on television, and the Washington, D.C. metro area is running a little slower and a little later this morning—given a population base that views election cycles as comparable to the World Series. It becomes difficult not to get caught up in the fever particularly during the politically charged times we are living through now. I always enter the political cycle with a basket of wishes;…

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Universal Service: Too Important to Make Bad Bets!

Universal Service: Too Important to Make Bad Bets!

It is no surprise that the FCC has several difficult tasks when it comes to Universal Service. It needs to: 1) reach unserved consumers, 2) make sure those who are served stay served, and 3) ensure that the services being provided to rural Americans are “reasonably comparable” to those that urban consumers receive. The focus always seems to fall on the first of those goals, and certainly reaching those without broadband access is critical and is the source of many…

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Wireless Needs Wires and 5G Will Need It Fiber Fed

Wireless Needs Wires and 5G Will Need It Fiber Fed

Like many folks in the communications industry, I read a great deal of trade press. Mostly it consists of skimming through various publications to see what and where the buzz is on any given day. On many a given day lately, the buzz is 5G and how it will transform our society in general. Pretty broad-brush words of praise for a technology that has yet to have any global industry standards. However, Verizon upped the ante this week when they…

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Sharing Thoughts with RUS

Sharing Thoughts with RUS

RUS and USDA are hard at work gathering feedback on their recently released NOI on the new rural broadband pilot program with comments due at the start of next week. The process has been fast and furious and I hope that USDA is just as fast and furious when it comes to releasing funds out the door to rural broadband providers who utilize it so they can continue to build in areas where deployment is needed. It is going to…

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Everyone Has Their John McCain Story

Everyone Has Their John McCain Story

…and I have mine as well. It was (literally) decades ago when everyone in DC’s telecommunications circles was working on crafting what became the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Sen. McCain was a member of the prestigious Senate Commerce Committee and a key player on the majority team as the legislation was crafted over a series of years. Per his usual operation, he forged his own path through the negotiations and discussions including proposing a phone voucher program–a creative idea but…

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Spreading the Word

Spreading the Word

In an Op-Ed in the Topeka Capital-Journal, we, NTCA, joined with the USTelecom Association to highlight a report we recently released on the economics of deploying broadband in rural areas. Just sharing some of the thoughts that my counterpart Jonathan Spalter and I had put pen to paper on with you here since it certainly beats me paraphrasing it from the floor of the Charlotte airport…. “Like electricity, broadband is essential to every American. Yet U.S. broadband infrastructure has been…

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Rural Broadband Providers Gather in Fargo…

Rural Broadband Providers Gather in Fargo…

Congressman Kevin Cramer (R-ND) joined our group for some send-off remarks prior to the close of our meeting this afternoon. Rep. Cramer has championed numerous letters to the FCC advocating for USF High-Cost support. He has also been a voice of sanity on the current frenzy in DC to allow overbuilding of broadband facilities supported by federal funds–with additional federal funds–(this strikes me as inefficient and a serious waste of government resources!) and even gave a shout-out to NTCA members for…

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Here We Go….Time to Sharpen the Pencils to Comment on the Proposed RUS Broadband Pilot Program

Here We Go….Time to Sharpen the Pencils to Comment on the Proposed RUS Broadband Pilot Program

A few months ago, Congress acted on the importance of broadband connections with the realization that it will take resources to actually get the job done. That was certainly a step in the right direction. Next step? Getting out some thoughts on how that program should operate, who should participate and what type of incentives will be offered. I know that it’s kind of “cheating” but I thought there was a great deal of value in sharing exactly what USDA…

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All Politics is Local….

All Politics is Local….

Legendary Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill once famously declared that “all politics is local”. And I do believe that. Politics of any issue impact us wherever we might live and regarding whatever it is we might care deeply about. It’s one of the reasons why this past weekend, I opened my home up to fellow neighbors for a wine, cheese and chat to host a local Arlington County board candidate who happens to be an Independent (the purple candidate)…

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NTCA and Government Leaders Discuss Broadband in the Field

NTCA and Government Leaders Discuss Broadband in the Field

The E-Connectivity tour 2.0 took place in Minnesota yesterday! Michael Daniels from our NTCA team was on the ground as several NTCA folks and friends shared stories around the importance of broadband deployment and how partnerships can be a component in extending the rural broadband reach even farther. Kristi Westbrock, CEO and GM for The Consolidated Telephone Company (CTC) in Minnesota, a company known for creatively pulling together broadband partnerships, highlighted the work they are doing with one of their…

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