Disconnected: Rural Broadband and the Business Case for Small Carriers
This hearing will examine the disparities between large, nationwide carriers and small, rural carriers that contribute to the urban and rural digital divide. Rural communities depend on small carriers to provide internet and telecommunications service where nationwide providers may choose not to deploy broadband, or provide minimal service. Deploying broadband in these high-cost areas requires significant investment in capital, time, and resources. The cost of investment, coupled with challenges unique to small, rural carriers in offsetting costs creates barriers to competition and sustainability for small and rural carriers in the mobile wireless marketplace. This hearing will focus on challenges inherent in the current regulatory and operational schemes that limit the ability of small carriers to deploy broadband in rural America.
Ms. Erin Fitzgerald
Womble Bond Dickinson, LLP
*Testifying on behalf of the Rural Wireless Association, Inc.
Mr. Tim Donovan
Senior Vice President, Legislative Affairs
Competitive Carriers Association
Mr. Paul Carliner
Mr. Derrick Owens
Vice President of Government Affairs
Western Telecommunications Alliance (WTA)