Bill Otis from NU-Telecom met with the offices of Kline, Walz and Franken in Washington, D.C., this week to discuss the significant impact of small communications providers like NU-Telecom in delivering consumers affordable broadband services.
Otis spoke about the importance of broadband for rural business development and growth and also the ways that broadband brings education, public safety, telemedicine and other opportunities to rural consumers.
He provided an overview of NU-Telecom’s service areas in the districts of Kline, Walz and Franken in Minnesota and highlighted the types of service it provides to business and consumers in New Ulm, Hutchinson, Litchfield, Redwood Falls, Springfield, Glencoe, Sleepy Eye and Goodhue, as well as pointing to the number of jobs NU-Telecom provides in the state and other services that contribute to the area’s economic development.
Otis urged congressional delegates to help to continue to provide the services these communities need at an affordable rate by ensuring Universal Service Fund (USF) and intercarrier compensation reforms do not deter future broadband investment in rural America and penalize small businesses that have already invested.
Otis explained that cuts to this important fund are putting existing investment in rural broadband at risk and discouraging future investment in new broadband-capable networks by small companies, which may lead to increased rates for telephone, broadband and other services.
Otis was in Washington to participate in the Legislative and Policy Conference hosted by NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association, April 22-24. More than 500 rural telecom representatives from all over the country gathered in the nation’s capital for educational briefings about emerging rules and regulations and other industry issues. They also took part in visits to the policymakers on Capitol Hill and the FCC.