PR Archives:  LatestBy Company By Date

Press Release -- April 4th, 2024
Source: ntca

NTCA Responds to Draft FCC Net Neutrality Order

Arlington, Va., (April 4, 2024) NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association today released the following statement from CEO Shirley Bloomfield regarding the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) draft order on net neutrality:

“NTCA has long advocated that core principles such as protecting consumers, promoting competition and ensuring universal service must remain the touchstones of any new regulatory reforms or initiatives going forward. Upon initial review of the draft order, changes would seem appropriate in certain respects to help achieve these goals.

“First, in proposing to forbear from universal service contribution obligations that would otherwise apply to broadband because of reclassification, the FCC’s draft order would not only forbear but could effectively foreclose much-needed debate in the near term about how to preserve and advance universal service and potentially save an important initiative like the Affordable Connectivity Program. As an initial matter, the record does not support the conclusions reached in the draft order as to the impacts of such potential reforms. In addition, while the draft order seems to suggest that Congress might step in and address such matters, it is a stretch to ground forbearance from existing statutory obligations upon the chance that Congress might introduce and ultimately pass new legislation. While NTCA certainly appreciates that further discussion is certainly needed to consider the potential implementation and application of any such obligation, effectively cutting off such discussion at the FCC for now would neither advance the mission of universal service nor serve the public interest.

“Second, in focusing upon last-mile retail internet service providers (ISPs), the draft order neglects the significant diversity and complexity of the broader online ecosystem. Middle mile networks, transit and peering networks, internet backbones, content distribution networks and large so-called edge providers have just as big a role as retail ISPs in ensuring the effective workings of this online ecosystem and in satisfying consumer expectations—and many of these other entities often have far more market and bargaining power than the kinds of ISPs to which this draft order would apply. Interconnection incentives and responsibilities among all of these entities should be front and center in any discussion of the advancement of broadband to all Americans.

“We appreciate the FCC’s engagement with stakeholders throughout this process, and we hope that meaningful and productive conversations on these issues will continue in the coming weeks before this order is finalized.”


NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association is the premier association representing more than 850 independent, community-based telecommunications companies that are leading innovative change in smart rural communities across America. In an era of transformative technological developments, regulatory challenges and marketplace competition, NTCA members are advancing efforts to close the digital divide by delivering robust and high-quality services over future-proof networks. Their commitment to building sustainable networks makes rural communities fertile ground for innovation in economic development, e-commerce, health care, agriculture and education, and it contributes billions of dollars to the U.S. economy each year. Visit us at

PR Archives: Latest, By Company, By Date