Congressman Jerry Moran visited Tri-County Telephone Association headquarters in Council Grove Sept. 8 to discuss with CEO Dale Jones and other employees the National Broadband Plan being proposed by the Federal Communications Commission.
Under its current language, the FCC’s National Broadband Plan would considerably decrease the quality of communications services available to rural Americans. The plan specifies that rural homes and businesses only need access to four megabytes of service while providing Americans living in highly populated, urban areas access to 100 megabytes of service.
The FCC’s plan all but eliminates the Universal Service Fund, which was put in place to provide rural consumers equal access to affordable, quality utility services, such as telephone and electricity.
“It is important to protect the places we call home, so the next generation of Kansans can continue to live in rural communities and raise their families,” said Congressman Moran. “Companies like TCT help ensure that rural Americans have access to the technology needed to support the local economy and compete with the world economy.”
Moran believes that technology is also crucial to the agricultural economy of Kansas. According to Moran, “Kansas farmers and ranchers should have access to market, weather, and other information that will help them make smarter business decisions.”
When asked what is being done in Washington D.C. to oppose the FCC’s National Broadband Plan, Congressman Moran said the Boucher-Terry USF Reform Bill has been introduced.
“The Federal Communications Commission is moving quickly to change the way Kansans and Americans access the Internet,” Moran said. “Important decisions about broadband expansion in rural areas and network management should be made after careful review by Congress.
“The Boucher-Terry legislation addresses certain concerns about the National Broadband Plan. The bill may not be perfect, but it does let the FCC know that the National Broadband Plan, as it stands, is not acceptable to many members of Congress.”
Moran said his tour of TCT headquarters gave him a better understanding of the work being done to provide rural Kansans with the latest technology that, he said, is vital to the survival of rural communities.
If the National Broadband Plan is passed as it now reads, the ability of rural utility services to repay loans will be greatly diminished, as well as their opportunities to invest in high quality networks or maintain existing networks, making modern technology unaffordable for rural Americans.
It is important that rural Americans let their elected officials, like Congressman Moran, know that they oppose the proposed National Broadband Plan. More information about the plan is available at www.tctelco.net by clicking on the National Broadband Plan icon.