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Today, a group of rural telecom associations, comprised of the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA), the Organization for the Promotion and Advancement of Small Telecommunications Companies (OPASTCO) and the Western Telecommunications Alliance (WTA), were joined by U.S. Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) and U.S. Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) to urge the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to promote and preserve sustainable broadband access for rural consumers.

Almost every month a new telecommunications innovation is launched that has a profound impact on our lives. And lately we've seen the impact of these telecommunication changes in ways we never could have imagined. We've watched the Egyptian government toppled by citizens using their cell phones to organize rallies and send videos of shocking violence against the demonstrators around the world. We learned that it was through sophisticated tracking of a cell phone that led our soldiers to Osama bin Laden's doorstep in Pakistan.

The National Exchange Carrier Association (NECA), the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA), the Organization for the Promotion and Advancement of Small Telecommunications Companies (OPASTCO) and the Western Telecommunications Alliance (WTA), together with 30 concurring state and regional associations, filed comments in the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) regarding Universal Service Fund (USF) and intercarrier compensation (ICC) reform.