NTCA urges Congress to codify rural broadband service standards in Farm Bill

March 16, 2023
NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association asks Congress to codify a minimum service level commitment of 100 Mbps symmetrical broadband service for any funding applicant for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s ReConnect program.

NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association on Mar. 14 announced that it has joined its coalition partners in rural development, education and communications in calling on Congress to codify in the Farm Bill a minimum service level commitment of 100 Mbps symmetrical broadband service, for any applicant seeking funding through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s ReConnect Loan and Grant Program.

NTCA chief executive officer Shirley Bloomfield remarked:

 “NTCA has long advocated that, as a nation, we need to aim higher and do better when it comes to setting broadband objectives. From proposing higher speed targets for universal service policy to advocating for better broadband in infrastructure and deployment grant programs, including USDA’s ReConnect Loan and Grant Program, NTCA has consistently urged longer-term perspectives rather than short-term incremental views of what represent efficient investments given the evolving level of services that consumers will need over time.

Today we join our partners in rural development, education and communications in encouraging Congress to serve the interests of rural communities by codifying in the Farm Bill a minimum service level commitment of 100 Mbps symmetrical broadband service–a minimum level of service for which there has already been substantial demand in prior broadband funding rounds. We thank members of the Senate and House Committees on Agriculture for their consideration of this proposal and look forward to working together to ensure that the Farm Bill can make a meaningful difference for rural America.”

NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association is the premier association representing nearly 850 independent, community-based telecommunications companies in smart rural communities across America who are leading innovative change by delivering robust and high-quality services over future-proof networks.

Visit www.ntca.org.

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