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Washington Report: infrastructure and net neutrality

by Bob Deegan, director – Government Relations
Washington has been abuzz with a looming infrastructure plan, broadband funding issues and, as you may have guessed, net neutrality.
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In Focus: Winter 2018

by Bill Hegmann, President and CEO
As I write this, the state of our union was addressed recently. I can report with confidence that NECA remains committed fully to helping our members provide to their customers cost effective and superior service. With USF orders that appear favorable to our members currently circulating at the FCC, we will be wholly prepared to assist members with implementation efforts upon release. Our annual tariff election has begun and it is because of this confidence I recommend strongly your continued participation in our tariffs and pools.
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In Focus: July 2017

by Bill Hegmann, President and CEO
We have turned the corner on an extremely active first half of 2017. Considering the very engaging FCC Open Meetings with close to double-digit agenda items, and the process of Commission nominations to fill open slots, it appears the accelerated pace will continue. All that recent activity is captured in the  Washington Report .
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Washington Report: broadband, nominations and oversight

by Bob Deegan, director – Government Relations
Things have been picking up on the telecom front on Capitol Hill recently. This is probably for a variety of reasons, including: industry pressure and national press attention on issues such as rural broadband and net neutrality; speculation over a possible infrastructure package that may include funding for broadband; President Donald Trump’s nominations to the FCC, including the renomination of Jessica Rosenworcel, which removed some legislative roadblocks; and actions taken by the FCC on hot topics like net neutrality.
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NECA files comments in Restoring Internet Freedom docket

NECA filed  comments  recently on the FCC NPRM proposing to reclassify broadband internet access service as an information service subject to Title I of the Telecommunications Act. Regardless of the classification decision, NECA suggested the Commission reaffirm that rural rate-of-return local exchange carriers will retain the option to offer broadband transmission service as a Title II common carriage service, either on a tariffed or non-tariffed basis.
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Filed under July 2017 , Tagged with NECA, Net neutrality, Open internet

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: 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

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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