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Category: Broadband

E-Connectivity Kicks Off in Minnesota

E-Connectivity Kicks Off in Minnesota

Update: 6/20/18: The recorded event is available online: www.youtube.com/thefarmfoundation Creating opportunities for people living in rural America to have reliable access to robust broadband services drives the work of NTCA and its member companies. As such, NTCA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Farm Foundation and other industry stakeholders, will host the listening session, “What’s on the Horizon for E-Connectivity in Rural America?,” Tuesday, June 19 at 9:00–11:30 a.m. Central. The event, to be held in Faribault, Minn., will also be livestreamed online. I hope many…

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Chairman Pai Speaks to the USF Budget Control

Chairman Pai Speaks to the USF Budget Control

Earlier this week, USAC came out with the new budget control mechanism, part of the requirement under the FCC Rate of Return Reform Order.  To remain within the annual rate of return budget, USAC has to apply the FCC Budget Control Mechanism methodology to reduce the anticipated USF support for the coming year.  Sigh.  This is one of those pieces of the Reform Order that has flown right in the face of the cost based carriers needs for certainty and…

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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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Congress Takes a Strong Stand on Rural Broadband

Congress Takes a Strong Stand on Rural Broadband

NTCA commends last night’s action by Congress to include $600 million in the omnibus for rural broadband deployment through a new pilot program to be administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS).  The omnibus passage this week is key to keep government funding moving forward but it is also a powerful vehicle to include explicit, bipartisan support for additional funding needed to really ensure that broadband in high cost parts of this nation can be deployed. Small telcos, NTCA…

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What Gets Measured In a Cyber Economy?

What Gets Measured In a Cyber Economy?

And what is the transactional value of the internet in Rural America?  Both of which are critical questions that the Foundation for Rural Service attempts to answer with their recently released study looking to measure those key factors and others that impact our economy. Obviously, every day consumers use the Internet for a ton of reasons – social media, commerce, entertainment, shopping, banking and the list goes on.  FRS worked with iGR to seek some insights into a few key…

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Digital Divide #SXSW

Digital Divide #SXSW

First, my profound thanks to my NTCA Texas members for warning me about the shift in traffic from last week’s NTCA meeting to the sheer and total chaos and volume that is SXSW!  Yes, your advance warnings were helpful and ensured that I kept my feet moving to make my way in and out of Austin in time to catch flights…whew! Second – wow!  What an amazing experience my 24 hours on the ground actually was.  SXSW is such an…

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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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FirstNet in Rural America – Time for a Real and Public Status Check

FirstNet in Rural America – Time for a Real and Public Status Check

When FirstNet was first announced, it offered much promise but there were also many questions about whether and how it would reach rural America.  As NTCA members know all too well, it’s a unique challenge to make the business case for infrastructure investment and ongoing network operations in areas where population densities may be only few people per square mile (or even less). The efforts to get FirstNet up and running tried to tackle a few of these questions, at…

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If Broadband Were So Easy….

If Broadband Were So Easy….

With all of the noise and frantic pace around broadband and infrastructure initiatives, I have found myself thinking that the attention on rural broadband is a blessing and a curse.  A blessing in that it has really gotten the attention of key policymakers to focus on what actual public policies could be implemented to ease deployment  – and a few very thoughtful ones have also made it clear that they agree with our position that it will take additional resources…

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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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