Representatives from Adams Telephone Co-Operative met with the offices of Senator Tammy Duckworth, Senator Richard Durbin, and Representative Darin LaHood in Washington, D.C. earlier this month to discuss the importance of ensuring sufficient funding is available to rural telephone companies to support ongoing delivery of robust, reliable and affordable broadband services to rural communities in Illinois.
The high-cost Universal Service Fund (USF) is the primary mechanism by which broadband infrastructure is deployed in rural areas, and Adams representatives emphasized that despite recent actions by the FCC to address the immediate USF budget crisis, the program’s current budget is not sufficient.
“We are concerned that these USF programs, due to insufficient and unpredictable budgets, may be falling short of achieving our country’s mandate to provide reasonably comparable telecommunications services at reasonably comparable rates to rural and urban Americans alike,” said Jim Broemmer, Chief Executive Officer of Adams Telephone Co-Operative. “We think Congress has a role to play in encouraging the FCC to act.”
Adams representatives were in Washington to participate in NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association’s Legislative & Policy Conference, April 16-17. Nearly 500 rural telecom representatives from all over the country gathered in the nation’s capital for educational briefings about emerging rules and regulations and other industry issues. They also took part in visits to policy makers on Capitol Hill and the FCC.