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In Focus: April 2017

By Bill Hegmann, President and CEO

Although 2017 is only one third complete, it sure feels we've already packed in activity to fill a full 12 months.

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Washington Report: Congress returns to a full slate

By Bob Deegan, director – Government Relations

Members of Congress have just returned to Washington with the end of the spring recess and both chambers will immediately have to get to work hammering out a budget deal by April 28 to avert a government shutdown, something the GOP is particularly keen on avoiding given its control of the legislature and the White House. Once that is accomplished, Congress and President Trump have made it a priority to tackle tax reform. In fact, Trump just released some details on his proposal, which among other things would cut personal and corporate tax rates. This, of course, is a complex and controversial topic so hopefully it does not take too much air out of the room and prevent progress on an infrastructure package, which is one issue that for the most part has bipartisan support. 

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Filed under April 2017, Tagged with Congress, FCC, Open internet

Washington report: new year, new Congress, new president, new chairman

By Bob Deegan, Director – Government Relations

After the election lull and the lame duck session of Congress, including the stalemate on telecom legislation at the end of 2016 as a result of the dispute over Commissioner Rosenworcel's reconfirmation, it is safe to say a lot has been happening in Washington over the last several weeks.

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Filed under January 2017, Tagged with Broadband, Congress, FCC, Open internet

Washington Report: a flurry of telecom activity before election recess

By Bob Deegan, director - Government Relations

After a few weeks back in D.C. and a surprising amount of telecom activity, Congress is once again on recess until November 13 for a brief lame duck session, during which it will be tight on time to hammer out a new Appropriations bill to fund the government for the 2017 fiscal year.  While the presidential race is receiving the bulk of the attention in Washington these days, there hasn't been too much revealed about the candidates' tech platforms to date other than we can expect a continued focus on universal broadband deployment in a potential Clinton administration.

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Filed under October 2016, Tagged with Congress, FCC

Washington Report: the calm before the storm

By Bob Deegan, senior government relations counsel, and Colin Sandy, senior regulatory attorney

As you may have heard, we are in a presidential election year. (Now there's an understatement!)  As a result, Congress is on extended summer recess, returning after Labor Day. While Congressional staff might be enjoying a bit of a breather after a run of telecom activity in the weeks leading up to the break, FCC staff continues to labor through a long, hot DC summer.

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Filed under August 2016, Tagged with Congress, FCC, Lifeline, Open internet

Washington Report: FCC Commissioners continue to clash on contentious issues, Congress steps up oversight efforts

By Bob Deegan, Senior Government Relations Counsel, and Colin Sandy, Senior Regulatory Attorney

Since our last report the FCC has been quite busy dealing with contentious issues such as the set-top box proposal, Internet service provider privacy NPRM, Lifeline reform and, most importantly for our neck of the woods, USF reform for rate-of-return carriers. 

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Filed under April 2016, Tagged with Congress, FCC, Muni broadband, Net neutrality, USF

2015 comes and goes with many important issues left to resolve

By Colin Sandy, Senior Regulatory Attorney

The year 2015 has come and gone with the FCC Chairman's promise to enact universal service support reform for rate-of-return rural local exchange carriers still pending. In some respects, this is not a bad thing. Earlier in 2015 FCC Chairman Thomas Wheeler promised to "move forward with rate-of-return reform by year end." However, as the rural associations met frequently to work out the details with FCC staff and NECA responded to numerous FCC requests for data it became clear that an accelerated rulemaking might not be practical.

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Spectrum, open Internet and FCC process remain hot in 2016

By Bob Deegan, Senior Government Relations Counsel

Issues of major importance to RLECs are certainly high on the agenda for early 2016 (see 2015 comes and goes with many important issues left to resolve). However, the issues likely to attract the most attention in the overall telecom space this year are related to spectrum policy to satisfy the growing desire for more bandwidth for mobile broadband. This will be evident at the FCC, with the broadcast incentive auction scheduled to begin in March, and in Congress as both chambers work on bills in a largely bipartisan effort to implement a practical policy to make more spectrum available.

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Filed under January 2016, Tagged with FCC, Open internet

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