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Category: USF

Exciting News as the FCC Releases a Proposal to Promote Rural Broadband Deployment

Exciting News as the FCC Releases a Proposal to Promote Rural Broadband Deployment

Today was a fabulous way to start the second week of the new year with the heads up that a draft order, recon order and notice of proposed rulemaking is now circulating among the FCC commissioners to address Universal Service Fund shortfalls and would address in part NTCA’s petition for reconsideration on sufficiency issues. This action is extremely critical and timely given that the high-cost Universal Service Fund (USF) is foundational to any effort to promote and sustain rural broadband…

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Resolutions for Rural Broadband in 2018

Resolutions for Rural Broadband in 2018

Every conversation we have in DC these days seems to end with policymakers asking what they can do to help overcome rural broadband challenges.  Unfortunately, the issue is so complex that it can be hard to come up with a single set of policy prescriptions that works – and with so much interest in the topic, it seems like everyone wants to put their own stamp on the topic with unique proposals. Representing companies and cooperatives that have more experience…

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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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USF Budget….Always Top of Mind

USF Budget….Always Top of Mind

As we hit the season where we give ourselves more time and space to think about what we are grateful for, I continue to be grateful to be working for a group of companies who care so passionately about providing the best service possible to the broadband customers they serve in rural America.  To that end, Mike and I made one more visit to the FCC prior to the holiday break (or in other words, the best time to be…

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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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Continuing USF Discussions With Commissioner O’Rielly

Continuing USF Discussions With Commissioner O’Rielly

I’m few days behind but Mike Romano and I had a very productive meeting last week over at the FCC with Commissioner O’Rielly, who has been key the past few years in the development and formulation of next steps to go on the USF front.  I was really grateful to hear the Commissioner’s recent remarks where he noted that in spite of all of the work on USF reform done to date, there was still more work to do.  Working…

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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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Talking Broadband in the Land of Oz with Chairman Pai

Talking Broadband in the Land of Oz with Chairman Pai

Kudos to SITA and the rural broadband providers in Kansas (and most notably Stacy Simmer) who organized an amazing Broadband Summit here today in Wichita, Kansas that not only drew members of the Kansas Congressional delegation but also Chairman Pai from the FCC.  With a room filled with not only these key providers but also with economic development experts, local officials and digital entrepreneurs, conversations ranged from “how to” strategies to laying out the challenges and opportunities in the rural…

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Commissioner O’Rielly Hopes For Fast FCC Action On USF Punchlist And Thoughtful On Funding

Commissioner O’Rielly Hopes For Fast FCC Action On USF Punchlist And Thoughtful On Funding

And so does NTCA.  That’s why we were so pleased to hear this week the Commissioner’s remarks noting that “Since the order was released, I continue to hear from providers and associations that the rate-of-return framework is sound and not unduly complicated.  At the same time, providers and their associations identified a handful of technical matters…as promised, I have pressed FCC staff from the very start to quickly address any legitimate issues that have arisen.”  That is certainly good news…

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Maine “Street Cred”

Maine “Street Cred”

  I’m wrapping up my second visit to Maine in a month and am hoping for honorary citizenship soon!  My first trip was a month ago along with Senator Angus King and FCC Commissioner Rosenworcel to celebrate UniTel’s Smart Rural Community designation and to all host a community-wide broadband discussion in Unity, Maine.  My trip this week was to join the broadband providers in Maine and their statewide association, TAM, celebrate their 50 year anniversary as an organization focused on…

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