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Category: USF

Sharing Thoughts with RUS

Sharing Thoughts with RUS

RUS and USDA are hard at work gathering feedback on their recently released NOI on the new rural broadband pilot program with comments due at the start of next week. The process has been fast and furious and I hope that USDA is just as fast and furious when it comes to releasing funds out the door to rural broadband providers who utilize it so they can continue to build in areas where deployment is needed. It is going to…

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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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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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Congress Putting Their Actions Into Words

Congress Putting Their Actions Into Words

Today was a big day for those advocating for continued broadband deployment across rural America as 193 members of Congress (194 if you include Sen. Joni Ernst’s letter) reached out to the FCC to address the long-term budget sufficiency of the Universal Service Fund (USF) High-Cost program. This is a critical and necessary step in continuing to close the digital divide (and the urban-rural divide) that is often cited by Chairman Pai as one of his top priorities. The USF…

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Commissioner O’Rielly Shares A Valued And Experienced Perspective

Commissioner O’Rielly Shares A Valued And Experienced Perspective

  On the eve of NTCA’s annual Legislative and Policy Conference, where much of  our members time will be spent sharing the rural broadband provider’s perspective on adequate Universal Service Fund with their congressional delegations as well as constructive feedback on next steps regarding infrastructure and Farm Bill proposals, I thought it was a value-add to share a recent blog from FCC Commissioner Mike O’Rielly on the importance of program coordination.  I so appreciate the Commissioner’s common-sense approach and his…

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FCC Acts on Rural Broadband Deployment!!

FCC Acts on Rural Broadband Deployment!!

The FCC released today the long awaited Report and Order, Third Order on Reconsideration and FNPRM on Universal Service and that certainly calls for multiple exclamation points!  We are still reviewing the details of the order and related items released by the FCC today, but as a threshold matter, we welcome several aspects of today’s action and are grateful for the release and looking forward to moving forward. First, NTCA has actively engaged in the effort to secure greater, bright-line clarity…

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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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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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