NTCA—The Rural Broadband Association recently presented several suggestions for long term USF stability to the FCC.
New grant programs must be implemented, it said, to avoid certain smaller rural carriers from being ineligible for relief under existing programs. Additionally, the FCC should expand the present contribution base to include retail broadband internet access revenues.
Most importantly, said NTCA, the FCC should treat the USF program as a sustainability initiative, with the goals of getting rural, remote, underserved and unserved customers connected and assuring that they remain connected.
The USF program is absolutely critical to bringing high speed, reliable and reasonably priced service to those parts of our country that would not otherwise be so well served. The FCC should do everything it can to implement NTCA’s suggestions.
The larger carriers should support these efforts in every way possible, in recognition of their freedom to serve, or not serve, any markets they choose.