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Category: On the Hill

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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Taking One For The Team

Taking One For The Team

Mike Romano, our SVP for Policy and Business Development had the opportunity to testify before a House Judiciary subcommittee yesterday alongside the 2 sitting Federal Trade Commission commissioners and former FCC commissioner Rob McDowell on Net Neutrality.  It was a great platform to underscore the continuing importance of interconnection oversight for rural carriers and consumers even as the FCC moves to take away the heavy-handed retail regulatory aspects of the net neutrality regime. Mike made the most of the opportunity to…

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One More Round of Policy Discussions

One More Round of Policy Discussions

Congressman David Young, a Republican from Iowa certainly knows what it means to serve his constituents having spent many years as the top aide to Senator Chuck Grassley.  NTCA has long enjoyed working with him in his staff role and continue to be impressed with what he is doing for Iowa during his second term as a member of Congress from his home state.  Having been the lead House champion for call completion legislation this Congress  (legislation which has passed…

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Rural Broadband Story Shared With Senate Ag

Rural Broadband Story Shared With Senate Ag

As if traveling east for the NTCA Fall Conference wasn’t disruptive enough for Denny Law, CEO of Golden West in South Dakota, Denny added another day to his schedule and traveled down to DC from Philly to be NTCA’s witness before the Senate Agriculture Committee this morning. This morning’s hearing “Rural Development and Energy Programs: Perspectives for the 2018 Farm Bill” was an excellent opportunity to highlight the importance of the RUS lending program as well as how – ideally –…

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Capitol Hill is Busy, Chairman Thune Hits the Key Question

Capitol Hill is Busy, Chairman Thune Hits the Key Question

Given the need that our young (and youngest) generations have for broadband and speedy access and connectivity—for school, research, job searches and making our world a more global one for the next generation, it was fitting that Brent Christensen, the state executive for Minnesota Telecom Alliance and vice president of Christensen Communications Co., brought his grandson out to be part of the Minnesota lobbying crew that hit the Hill yesterday. Seriously, I am certain that this young gentleman had his own…

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The Face Behind the Voice

The Face Behind the Voice

NTCA’s very own SVP of Industry Affairs and Business Development Michael Romano testified today before the House Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy and Trade at their hearing on “Improving Broadband Deployment: Solutions for Rural America”.  It was certainly a week for these discussions and Mike was the perfect “clean up batter” and voice on the topic for the rural broadband industry with his testimony. Mike shared that providing robust, scalable and sustainable broadband in rural areas is…

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Underfunded USF Support Will Stop Rural Broadband Investment

Underfunded USF Support Will Stop Rural Broadband Investment

What is now becoming clearly the draconian impacts of the USF’s budget mechanism control on the high cost fund will have numerous opportunities to be shared this week as I had the chance to tell the story of rural broadband providers and the challenges they face trying to continue to build broadband in rural markets with budget controls that are severely impacting their ability to get the job done before the Senate today, mapping will be on the agenda tomorrow…

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A Moment of Civility

A Moment of Civility

I find the state of Maine to be one of the more politically interesting states with a long history of independent thinking and a true mix of political takes.  It was pretty fascinating having some time with Senator Angus King from Maine yesterday during a lunch we had hosted for the Senator with a number of our communications and financing colleagues around the table with us. Obviously, the tensions in Washington, D.C. have been running extremely high, even before the…

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Rural Broadband Women Hit DC!

Rural Broadband Women Hit DC!

What a great group and a terrific advocacy adventure! Fifteen very cool, very accomplished women in the rural broadband industry traveled to Washington DC yesterday to interact with and support female policymakers. From Colorado to South Dakota, from Wisconsin to Kentucky – some of our fabulous RLEC leadership traveled in to help me host a few political events and to talk about the need to right-size the universal service fund to support sufficient broadband deployment. We started off the day…

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