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Category: Advocacy

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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Visiting the Blue Grass State

Visiting the Blue Grass State

I do a lot of plane landings…in many places.  But I will say that one of the most beautiful landings of all is here in Kentucky at the Lexington Blue Grass Airport.  The slow descent brings you over pastures of green as far as your eye can see, ringed by white fences and if you’re lucky enough from the air, you can see the horses milling about their playground.  And then you really know that you’re in Kentucky because you…

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Sharing Broadband Thoughts with the House Committee on Natural Resources

Sharing Broadband Thoughts with the House Committee on Natural Resources

What a treat it was to be invited to testify before the Natural Resources Committee this week! It was a great opportunity to share that after the initial business case can be made for rural broadband, we come to the next significant challenge – the barriers to deployment itself. This is where the questions and legislation presented in the committee’s hearing become so important, helping to reduce responsibly and thoughtfully the costs and time associated with deployment and allowing providers…

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Congress Putting Their Actions Into Words

Congress Putting Their Actions Into Words

Today was a big day for those advocating for continued broadband deployment across rural America as 193 members of Congress (194 if you include Sen. Joni Ernst’s letter) reached out to the FCC to address the long-term budget sufficiency of the Universal Service Fund (USF) High-Cost program. This is a critical and necessary step in continuing to close the digital divide (and the urban-rural divide) that is often cited by Chairman Pai as one of his top priorities. The USF…

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