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Category: FCC

Small Business Administration Delves into Regulatory Obstacles

Small Business Administration Delves into Regulatory Obstacles

On a plane, trying out a new airline wifi system (competition on the ground AND in the air seems to be the order of the day).  As I was flipping through my emails, my eye was caught by a notice from the Small Business Administration (SBA) that they are looking to hear from individual small businesses on the regulatory barriers that are impacting their business. In the broadband space, the FCC took a credible crack at this with their BDAC…

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Chatting with the Chairman

Chatting with the Chairman

It was a true treat and honor to have FCC Chairman Ajit Pai join NTCA and our members in New Orleans at our RTIME meeting to share his perspective and priorities for the state of rural broadband in our country, and the role that NTCA members play in ensuring forward movement on bridging the digital divide. I loved having the “fireside” chat with the chairman and always appreciate his willingness to engage with our sector including the time he took…

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#BipartisanTech

#BipartisanTech

The ideas of bipartisanship and technology should not be hard concepts to grasp, and support for the melding of both was in full force during a panel discussion at the Next Century Cities “Opportunities for Bipartisan Tech Policy” session today. Former FCC staffer and Conexon founder Jon Chambers, Harold Feld from Public Knowledge, Brent Skorup with the Mercatus Center at GMU, and myself were led in the discussion by Chris Mitchell with the Community Broadband Networks. Our panel was focused on…

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Rural America’s Still Waiting….

Rural America’s Still Waiting….

Earlier this week the Wall Street Journal ran a piece called “Rural America Still Waiting for Phone Calls That Won’t Connect,” highlighting the ongoing problem with the completion of calls to rural America. Author Drew FitzGerald did a very good job at explaining the frustrating and perplexing problem that has impacted NTCA member companies for years. A caller places a call to a rural exchange and the calls never hit the telephone company’s switch. When the call is dropped, the…

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A Fond Farewell to 2018

A Fond Farewell to 2018

I know that in many ways, the year that we are on the verge of parting ways with has been stressful…crazy stock market swings, lots of social media noise, the growing feeling of division within our country, and ending the year with the government on a partial shutdown. However, from the perspective of the rural broadband industry, 2018 was an excellent year. It was a year that saw policymakers move beyond making noise about rural broadband to actually putting money…

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The Programming Battle Lines Are Drawn

The Programming Battle Lines Are Drawn

As not only an advocate for those who purchase programming to serve their subscribers but also as a consumer of video products myself, I found the following in my inbox from my communications provider yesterday to be pretty poignant. As you may know, we must periodically renew our agreements with TV content providers to be able to provide you with the programming available on Fios® TV. Despite what you may be hearing from Disney, we have been negotiating a renewal…

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How to Celebrate After a Big Week?

How to Celebrate After a Big Week?

The NTCA team knows how to work hard as well as play hard…and that hit home after a busy, successful, and exhausting week at the FCC, Capitol Hill, and USDA as our team worked nonstop on behalf of our rural broadband providers and their consumers. Take for example the “press release” and gift from his team to our own Sr. VP Mike Romano, who led much of our policy efforts and continues to be the smartest person I know (complete…

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Unanimous and Bipartisan Vote at the FCC on Universal Service Fund

Unanimous and Bipartisan Vote at the FCC on Universal Service Fund

Today started off with Mike Romano and I heading over to the FCC to watch the commission’s open meeting in person as they undertook some key steps on Universal Service to shore up the stability and sufficiency of this program that’s so key to ensuring rural Americans have comparable access to broadband services. It was really gratifying being there in person to watch this bipartisan, unanimous vote in favor of setting the course for the future. Today’s action by the…

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USF and Broadband Top of Mind

USF and Broadband Top of Mind

This week has been busy…the last few hours before sunshine rules went into effect prior to the FCC’s vote on the USF order next Wednesday. It feels like the entire industry has been counting down to this time for years…with hundreds and hundreds of congressional and FCC meetings in between. This week I was able to have an ex parte discussion with three of the four FCC commissioners who were willing to have an ex parte discussion. In each of…

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Chairman Pai Speaks…

Chairman Pai Speaks…

It would be an understatement to say that when the FCC’s draft order on the USF budget begins circulating tomorrow, there will be a number of rural broadband providers anxiously reading through the details. The same goes for NTCA staff along with the members of our Industry and Competitive Services committees who have been so engaged and active for years as the quest and battle for USF sufficiency has been waged. We have been most appreciative of the leadership from…

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