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

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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Filed under January 2016 , Tagged with Call completion, Congress, FCC, Tariffs, USF Reform

NECA introduces Foundations of Telecommunications curriculum and certification

by Bob Gnapp, Director of Member Training and Network Analysis
During the first half of 2016, NECA will be offering an eight-session Foundations of Telecommunications curriculum. This beginner's level offering is targeted toward those new to the telecommunications industry, those whose jobs do not routinely expose them to all topics covered in this curriculum, and those simply wanting a refresher on certain topics. All sessions will be offered via webcast with several opportunities to attend each.
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Filed under January 2016 , Tagged with Training

2016 tariff efforts to build on 2015 initiatives

Last year was an active one for our interstate access tariff (F.C.C. No. 5) as we added or enhanced several services. We also looked at ways to enhance our Rate Band Buy Down program, which allows members to buy down their rate bands below the NECA-assigned rate band for certain classes of service.
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Filed under January 2016 , Tagged with Tariffs

Average schedule formula changes proposed

by Karen Rowland, Senior Manager – Average Schedule Methods
As required by the FCC's Part 69 rules, NECA develops average schedule formulas designed to simulate the disbursements received by cost companies with characteristics similar to the average schedule population. Filed each December, these formulas are reviewed by the FCC and become effective subject to an FCC Order. Assuming FCC approval, formula modifications become effective on July 1, and reflect changes in company cost characteristics, demand, FCC rules, network technology and related operations.
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Filed under January 2016 , Tagged with Average schedules

In Focus

by Bill Hegmann, President and CEO
When is the last time you thought about the value of being a NECA member? For some it may be monthly when your settlement check arrives, accurate and timely as it has been for all of NECA's 33 years. Or it may be ongoing, as NECA continually implements complex FCC rules changes, including pending revisions to high cost and broadband funding, with as little administrative burden to you as possible. For many members, it's each time you call your NECA member service manager. You know you'll get a prompt, accurate response from our expert staff.
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Filed under January 2016 , Tagged with In Focus, NECA, Pooling

NECA tariffs and pools: where membership has its rewards

The presidential election is many months away, but an equally important election, for rural telcos at least, takes place from now until March 1 - the annual NECA tariff election. With the many challenges you're facing in these uncertain regulatory times, we can't recall a more crucial time for you to be a participant in NECA's tariffs and pools.
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Filed under January 2016 , Tagged with NECA, Pooling

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