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Category: Policy

Chairman Pai Responds to Congress’ Push for Action on Long-Term USF Budget Fix

Chairman Pai Responds to Congress’ Push for Action on Long-Term USF Budget Fix

In a terrific step forward for NTCA members and RLECs across the country, FCC Chairman Pai responded this week to the 130 Members of the House who wrote to him this May regarding their concerns on the persistent USF insufficiency. The Chairman replied that he aims “to circulate an order ensuring adequate and efficient funding for rural broadband deployment later this year.” He reviewed the steps that have already been taken, including devoting over $500 million to increasing broadband deployment…

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Can Rural Utilities Work Together to Fill the Rural Broadband Void?

Can Rural Utilities Work Together to Fill the Rural Broadband Void?

Let’s be clear…there is A LOT of landmass in this great country of ours.  All you have to do is get on an airplane and whether your jaunt is a short hop or a long haul, you are flying over miles and miles of land with not a lot of people. NTCA members, community-based local broadband providers, cover about 37 percent of the landmass over the United States and that certainly feels like a lot when you’re driving from Sioux…

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A New York State of Mind

A New York State of Mind

I am in the final stages of my journey to Lake Placid, New York where I had the fabulous opportunity to exchange some ideas with the members of the New York State Telecom Association for the past two days.  While the trip is not a cakewalk, it is an important reminder that New York  – the state – is certainly not New York City!  As a matter of fact, there is a lot of green space, a lot of mountains,…

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Only the Best Kind Of Hand Cramp….

Only the Best Kind Of Hand Cramp….

I continue to be impressed with Congressional leadership on the Universal Service Fund front as Members of Congress – again – have made the effort to weigh in with the FCC on the need for predictable, affordable, comparable and sustainable broadband for all Americans.  One hundred and ninety-three of them to be exact were on the latest round of correspondence to the FCC. This was due in large part to the effort that NTCA members made in sharing their stories…

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Members of Congress Prioritize Agency Coordination on Broadband…We Concur!

Members of Congress Prioritize Agency Coordination on Broadband…We Concur!

I am so impressed with Congressional leadership on rural broadband over the course of the past year…nearly 200 Members of Congress sending letters to the FCC urging support for more predictable and sufficient USF support for rural broadband networks and then today, Senators John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) introducing the Office of Rural Broadband Act. The bill establishes an office at the FCC to coordinate efforts with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Utilities Service and the National Telecommunications and…

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The Big Easy Meets Telecom State Execs

The Big Easy Meets Telecom State Execs

Mike Romano and I headed down to New Orleans at the start of the week for the annual meeting of all the state association telecom executives. What a valuable platform this meeting is for state leaders to compare notes and approaches with the many issues and topics that are impacting our industry. A huge shoutout to Colleen Jamison with James Caplinger, CHTD in Kansas, who took on the role this year of chairing the group, NCSTA, and did a marvelous…

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Rural Carrier Access to Spectrum More Critical Than Ever

Rural Carrier Access to Spectrum More Critical Than Ever

I get it…if I were running the world, or at least Sprint or T-Mobile, I would seek synergies and scope that allow me to compete – on some level – with the behemoths of AT&T and VZW.  As the wireless market becomes saturated and churn slows down, it’s going to take creativity and scale to claim a critical part of the marketing pie.  But what does that mean for rural America? More competition in urban markets?  More competition for the…

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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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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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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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