Telecom Industry Urges Congress to Fully Fund Rip and Replace and ACP


Twelve telecommunications industry trade associations led by the Competitive Carriers Association (CCA), including NATE; the Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association, CTIA and WIA, urged Senate leadership to include an amendment in the FAA reauthorization that would fully fund Rip & Replace and extend the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP.)  

Senators Luján (D-NM), Welch (D-VT), Vance (R-OH), Daines (R-MT), Wicker (R-MS) and Rosen (D-NV), introduced Senate amendment 2024 to the Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act (H.R. 3935), which would reauthorize the FAA to complete its mission, as every agency is periodically. The amendment would use a portion of future spectrum proceeds to eliminate the $3.08 billion shortfall in the FCC’s reimbursement program for carriers that remove, replace and dispose of untrusted network gear from Huawei and ZTE. It would also add $6 billion to extend the ACP, which runs out of money this month without congressional intervention. 

“Fully funding the Rip and Replace Program is critical to securing our nation’s networks, including those serving rural areas, military bases, airports, and other areas of strategic importance,” said CCA President/CEO Tim Donovan and the other associations. “Absent full funding, millions of Americans face complete loss of connectivity and jeopardized access to emergency services.” 

“Additionally, the ACP helps bridge the digital divide, benefiting 23 million households, including seniors and veterans, many in the same areas affected by the potential loss of service due to the Rip and Replace shortfall. Addressing both issues immediately is critical for supporting and maintaining connectivity across the country, especially in rural areas and low-income communities,” Donovan and the other associations explained.

“The Rip & Replace and ACP Programs were created by Congress to secure and support connectivity across the U.S. Congress must provide this funding immediately to ensure the success of these programs and ensure that entire communities across the United States will not be left behind,” they said. The trade groups call the amendment “the necessary solution” to maintaining connectivity for millions across the country, “securing American networks, and preserving the historic broadband investment Congress has made in rural and tribal communities.”

Other telecom associations joining the letter are: INCOMPAS; NCTA – The Internet & Television Association; NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association; Rural Wireless Association; Telecommunications Industry Association; USTelecom – The Broadband Association; WISPA – Broadband Without Boundaries and WTA – Advocates for Rural Broadband.

By Leslie Stimson, Inside Towers Washington Bureau Chief

Source link

Next Post

T-Mobile US considering the purchase of UScellular assets

Sat May 11 , 2024
T-Mobile US is rumored to be considering the purchase of UScellular spectrum licenses for more than $2 billion T-Mobile US is in discussions to purchase a piece of UScellular, a move that would give the telco access to additional spectrum, according to reports from The Wall Street Journal (WSJ). Further rumors […]


COMING SOON! Signup for our newsletter, get hot news plus speical deals from us and our partners...

Best Omni-Directional on Market