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Category: Advocacy

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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Coordination Between USDA and the FCC – Next Mission Critical

Coordination Between USDA and the FCC – Next Mission Critical

Yesterday saw a very constructive House Appropriations Committee hearing that had FCC Chairman Pai in attendance responding to Members of Congress about FCC priorities. The questions were wide ranging and only spent a brief amount of time on the actual purpose – the FCC’s fiscal year 2019 budget request. Mr. Cartwright, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, used his opportunity at the microphone to urge the FCC to work with the Agriculture Department to make sure that a new $600 million broadband…

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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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