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ABC Plan would help Rural Areas, Senate Staffers told

By Daily Blog, AmericasBroadbandConnectivity.org (9/22/11)

  SEPTEMBER 27, 2011 --

America’s Broadband Connectivity Plan for reforming universal service and intercarrier competition will stimulate investment in rural areas because it offers certainty, Randy Tyree, legislative director of the Organization for the Promotion and Advancement of Small Telecommunications Companies, told Senate staff members at a Sept. 21 briefing by plan supporters. The plan’s goals are to “modernize” the Universal Service Fund by migrating from voice to broadband, to assure fiscal responsibility and to offer accountability, Tyree said.

The ABC Plan and the Consensus Framework, which have been endorsed by trade associations that represent the vast majority of rural Americans, “address places where no one wants to invest,” said Mike Romano, senior vice present of policy at the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association. The plan’s promise of “sustainability” is of crucial importance to rural telecom companies, he said. “It does no good to bring broadband if it is not going to stay,” he said. “One thing that kills investment is uncertainty,” Romano said. “This plan provides the needed certainty for companies to make those investments.”

“The time has come to reform universal service,” said National Grange Legislative Director Nicole Payla Wood. “Broadband makes rural America more competitive.”

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