ACA Members Are Investing Robustly In Network Upgrades and Expansions
For Immediate Release
Contact: Ted Hearn
PITTSBURGH, September 18, 2018 – The deployment of broadband to all Americans is occurring in a reasonable and timely fashion, largely fueled by efforts of the FCC and Congress to promote investment and remove regulatory burdens that dampen business confidence, according to the American Cable Association.
ACA members are responding to this policy environment by investing heavily in new deployments that will allow their customers to enjoy faster speeds and more reliable connections. ACA urged the FCC to continue its work to reduce barriers to deployment, and to ensure that deployment subsidies are targeted effectively to those areas that lack a business case for private investment even once deployment barriers are removed.
ACA also advised the FCC to retain a 25/3 speed benchmark as the measure for determining whether a fixed broadband service provides “advanced telecommunications capability,” because it remains true that 25/3 fixed broadband service “enables users to originate and receive high-quality voice, data, graphics and video telecommunications.” Moreover, maintaining a stable benchmark of “advanced telecommunications capability” over the course of several years will allow deployment progress to be measured consistently from year to year. To further substantiate and quantify the progress that is occurring, ACA encouraged the FCC to include three-to-five-year deployment projections in its next report.
“The FCC’s decision to restore a light-touch regulatory framework for broadband Internet access service has relieved ACA members from substantial legal risk and uncertainty and enabled funds to be diverted from compliance to capital investment. More recently, the FCC adopted major reforms of its pole attachment rules that should make it easier and less costly for providers to obtain access to critical infrastructure necessary to deploy broadband, including when seeking to expand into new territory,” ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said.
In recent years, ACA members have invested more than $10 billion to upgrade and expand their networks, in both rural areas and as overbuilders bringing competition in urban areas, and they continue to spend about $1 billion each year to meet the ever growing demands of their subscribers for real-time, high-speed access to the Internet and other IP-based services.
Another powerful stimulant for broadband deployment was the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) enacted in 2017, which ACA has estimated will make it economical to deploy high-speed broadband to over 400,000 households unserved today.
ACA’s comments came in a filing Monday in connection with the FCC’s annual inquiry to determine whether broadband deployment goals established by the Telecommunications Act of 1996 are being met on a nationwide basis.
ACA informed the FCC that its pro-deployment policies and initiatives are contributing to the reasonable and timely deployment of broadband to all Americans. Still, ACA encouraged the FCC to redouble its efforts to minimize regulatory burdens and free up capital for broadband investment needed to close the digital divide.
About the American Cable Association: Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing about 800 smaller and medium-sized, independent companies that provide broadband, phone and video services to nearly 8 million customers primarily located in rural and smaller suburban markets across America. Through active participation in the regulatory and legislative process in Washington, D.C., ACA’s members work together to advance the interests of their customers and ensure the future competitiveness and viability of their business. For more information, visit: https://acaconnects.org/