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Category: USF

Interesting Bedfellows

Interesting Bedfellows

I do find that in the world of Washington DC, some of the most interesting advocacy is done when you have the most diverse group of interests to work with. That came to mind for me recently when NTCA sent a letter to the FCC, along with ACA (the smaller cable folks) and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association applauding their announcement to create the Rural Digital Opportunities Fund (RDOF), which is the logical and much needed follow-up to the…

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Getting Ready to Hit the Hill!

Getting Ready to Hit the Hill!

Next week is NTCA’s annual pilgrimage up to Capitol Hill and a prime opportunity to share their stories of how they are continuing their broadband builds in the rural parts of our country.  I know some folks are bummed that Congress will be on recess that week but honestly, it’s a wonderful opportunity to spend even more time with the key congressional staffers from the offices of these elected officials and to dig a little bit deeper into the issues…

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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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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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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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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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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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