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Category: Policy

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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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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