ERTA Position Statements
Broadband in Rural America
The Eastern Rural Telecom Association (“ERTA”) is a membership organization made up of local exchange companies (“LECs”) and support companies that provide telecommunications services to rural customers in the Eastern half of America. Besides providing local, long distance, and broadband Internet services, some ERTA members also provide wireless and cable television services.
ERTA believes broadband deployment is critical to consumers and businesses in Rural America.
ERTA understands that there is a disparity of broadband services available in Rural America compared to urban areas.
ERTA members have Universal Service obligations and are in the best position to provide broadband services to Rural America. Wireless and cable television companies choose to provide service where it is economically feasible.
ERTA believes that 100% deployment of Broadband availability in Rural America would have occurred if there were a business case to cover the enormous capital investment and recurring expenses that are required in sparsely populated areas.
ERTA believes that Broadband service should be covered under the definition of Universal Service. ERTA believes that Broadband service should be supported by the Universal Service Fund.
ERTA believes that grants are important to enhance broadband deployment in Rural America.