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TMCNet:  Luetkemeyer Urges FCC to Give Carriers Certainty on Rural Broadband Providers

[April 06, 2012]

Luetkemeyer Urges FCC to Give Carriers Certainty on Rural Broadband Providers

Apr 06, 2012 (Congressional Documents and Publications/ContentWorks via COMTEX) -- Washington, Apr 5 - Citing the important role broadband service plays in rural economic growth, U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-9) and 43 of his colleagues in the House of Representatives have asked the head of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to avoid new regulatory reforms on broadband providers that would severely impact job-creating broadband service in rural communities.

In a bipartisan letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski (attached), Luetkemeyer and 43 of his House colleagues urged the FCC to provide more certainty to broadband providers and to carefully consider the harm future rulemaking could have on rural consumers in the state - and fragile rural economies.

"Each day, I meet with constituents from rural America whose lives are enhanced by access to broadband service," Luetkemeyer said. "Without such service, they would fall behind in areas such as telemedicine or in long-distance education, where broadband can close the rural-urban education gap and boost communities' economic development." Specifically, the letter raises concerns about the impact on rural broadband consumers of another round of rulemaking that would go into effect before the effects of an earlier round of similar cuts have been evaluated. These additional cuts would impact the ability of rural broadband providers to invest in local infrastructure that are critical to economic growth, especially for small businesses.

"We are concerned that the agency is considering a number of additional ideas in a rulemaking that will only perpetuate regulatory uncertainty and, if pursued further, will lead to an operating environment in which providers will be unable to sustain operations and rural communities and consumers will ultimately lose out," Luetkemeyer and his colleagues said.

A copy of the letter was also sent to President Obama and was supported by two members of Missouri's congressional delegation: U.S. Reps. Sam Graves and Emanuel Cleaver.

"We are concerned that the FCC has set the stage of limited vision that has all but drawn out of the picture communications providers serving rural customers," the letter said. "We believe these providers' continued efforts to invest in infrastructure are crucial to small businesses in creating jobs in rural America." Read this original document at:

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