When the FCC's broadband plan was submitted to Congress yesterday many of the industry associations and large service providers praised the plan, but the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA) thinks that the plan needs some revisions to truly help its rural telco constituency expand broadband service availability.
While the NTCA supports the FCC's broadband plan, including realigning the focus of the Universal Service Fund (USF) on broadband investment, the organization is concerned that the plan does not address the high cost of building out broadband networks in rural areas.
At issue is the lack of a provision in the plan that would enable rural broadband operators to recover lawful costs related to universal service and intercarrier compensation, carrier of last resort obligation costs, and the suggestion that rate-of-return regulation for every service provider regardless of size.
Michael E. Brunner, NTCA's Chief Executive Officer believes that these particular tenets in the FCC's plan would actually stunt rural broadband growth. "Collectively, these aspects of the plan would discourage rural investment and would make it unlikely that affordable broadband services could be further deployed and maintained in many high-cost rural areas," Brunner said in a release.
- see the release here
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