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Category: Policy

Taking a Rural Broadband Discussion to the Top

Taking a Rural Broadband Discussion to the Top

About a month ago, Congressman James Clyburn, Majority Whip in the United States House of Representatives and proud South Carolinian, initiated a new Congressional task force focused on rural broadband.  In my mind, you can never have enough task forces, committees or ad hoc groups in policy circles pondering this important topic. As soon as the task force was announced by Representative Clyburn, we requested the opportunity to meet with him to share our perspective and ideas on the tools,…

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Bipartisanship is alive and well in Washington, D.C.

Bipartisanship is alive and well in Washington, D.C.

Bipartisanship is alive and well in Washington DC…at least when it comes to the need for future-proofed rural broadband networks! Senator Wicker and Congressman Welch join NTCA and our partners at the Fiber Broadband Association for the unveiling of our National FiberFAST plan today.  As many folks know, fiber infrastructure is central to America’s broadband future.  National broadband goals – including higher performance services, real-time applications, smart communities, precision agriculture and better access to healthcare and education – will not…

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Mapping 2.0

Mapping 2.0

How important is mapping our current state of broadband across this country? Important enough to see congressional delegations sending letters to the FCC imploring the Commission to ensure there is accuracy in the collection of voice and broadband service and deployment data to tell the story of where resources should be put moving forward. North Dakota and Kansas have led with full delegation letters expressing concern that the FCC’s current broadband availability maps, particularly when they come to showing fixed…

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American Broadband Initiatives

American Broadband Initiatives

Today the administration released their report on Rural Broadband Development. The 64-page report had feedback from NTIA, USDA, FCC and the White House and detailed efforts on broadband deployment and provided a snapshot into their plans for the upcoming few years. Streamlining, access to federal assets, and maximizing federal funding were all noted as initiatives underway. This includes NTIA’s recently announced initiative on mapping with a pilot project underway in California, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and West…

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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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All I Want for Christmas…

All I Want for Christmas…

As we rush into the end of the year, it certainly is a time to reflect on the year we are saying goodbye to and to also look ahead to 2019. We are certainly doing that here at NTCA as we begin to work on our 2019 goals and our 2019 policy priorities and strategies. Other things to ponder are ways to ensure that your teams have the right tools in their hands as we begin the new year. Hopefully…

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Universal Service: Too Important to Make Bad Bets!

Universal Service: Too Important to Make Bad Bets!

It is no surprise that the FCC has several difficult tasks when it comes to Universal Service. It needs to: 1) reach unserved consumers, 2) make sure those who are served stay served, and 3) ensure that the services being provided to rural Americans are “reasonably comparable” to those that urban consumers receive. The focus always seems to fall on the first of those goals, and certainly reaching those without broadband access is critical and is the source of many…

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How Hot is Too Hot?

How Hot is Too Hot?

Every quarter or so, Mike Romano, NTCA’s Sr. Vice President of Industry Affairs and Business Development and I share our latest thoughts and perspectives in a webcast titled “Policy Talk.” The purpose of the webcast is to give NTCA members the scoop on what is happening on the public policy front. I love the tool because it gives us the chance to walk through the most current and pressing issues and it give members the opportunity to ask questions of…

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Everyone Has Their John McCain Story

Everyone Has Their John McCain Story

…and I have mine as well. It was (literally) decades ago when everyone in DC’s telecommunications circles was working on crafting what became the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Sen. McCain was a member of the prestigious Senate Commerce Committee and a key player on the majority team as the legislation was crafted over a series of years. Per his usual operation, he forged his own path through the negotiations and discussions including proposing a phone voucher program–a creative idea but…

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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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