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Category: On the Hill

A Peek at the Likely Newest Addition to the FCC

A Peek at the Likely Newest Addition to the FCC

Today was the confirmation hearing for Geoffrey Starks, the Democratic nominee to replace Commissioner Clyburn at the FCC. Starks is currently serving as an assistant chief in the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau where he works in the Investigations and Hearings Division and the USF Strike Force.  He also has experience at the DOJ, with the U.S. Court of Appeals and brings a wealth of experience to a new role at the FCC. Since his nomination was announced, folks have been curious…

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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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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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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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Ray Baum’s Act Moves Through Congress

Ray Baum’s Act Moves Through Congress

I was very impressed to see Congress move forward on legislation to reauthorize the FCC entitled the RAY BAUM’S Act, which is named after the late Ray Baum who dedicated his life to public service in the telecommunications field. Here at NTCA, we certainly applaud the bipartisan approval of legislation to reauthorize the FCC for the first time in 28 years. And it’s only fitting that this legislation would be named after Ray Baum – a man who devoted much…

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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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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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Senate Broadband Caucus Speaks Up For Broadband Funding

Senate Broadband Caucus Speaks Up For Broadband Funding

  The fabulous Senate Broadband Caucus, led by Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Angus King (I-Maine), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and John Boozman (R-Ark.), sent a letter today to President Donald Trump urging his administration to include stand-alone funding for rural broadband deployment in any future infrastructure plans. The letter emphasizes policy priorities that are part of a broader, ongoing dialogue about how best to support and sustain robust broadband services in rural America. “Prioritizing direct funding support for broadband deployment in…

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Is NTCA Fighting 24/7 for USF Funding? You Bet!

Is NTCA Fighting 24/7 for USF Funding? You Bet!

I had a very active, engaged and proactive member contact me today on an industry issue and in the course of the exchange, asked if NTCA is doing anything in regards to high cost USF support for both cost-based members as well as our ACAM companies – and while it made me a little sad that we have yet to find the “magic bullet” of communications to show all of our members what we have been up to on the…

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