WASHINGTON, February 3, 2020 – ITTA, which called itself “the voice of America’s broadband providers,” closed on Friday due to financial obstacles after over 25 years of advocating for wireline communications.
ITTA – which was originally known as the Independent Telephone and Telecommunications Alliance – released a statement on January 15 stating that “financial constraints in the wireline service provider sector have presented insurmountable challenges.”
It has been reported that CenturyLink and Consolidated, among its bigger members, told the association they wouldn't renew membership for 2020.
Since ITTA was founded in 1993, it was “a consistent and powerful voice for the needs of wireline companies and their customers before the Federal Communications Commission, other federal agencies, and Congress,” according to the association’s statement.
“With its lean structure, ITTA has been able to introduce innovative policy reforms and respond quickly to policy proposals as the telecom industry continues to modernize and evolve,” said ITTA President Genny Morelli.
ITTA was particularly known for advocating for the Alternative Connect America Cost Model. ITTA Vice Chairman Drew Petersen said ITTA was “the foremost advocate at the FCC for adoption and implementation of the ACAM program.”
ACAM provides $65.7 million in broadband deployment support for areas that do not have speeds of 25/3 Megabits per second (Mbps) download/upload.
Rural carriers have to meet a series of requirements and accomplish buildout milestones through 2028 in 43 states.
In an FCC press release from April, the FCC said 186 companies were participating in ACAM and had agreed to serve “106,365 homes and small businesses that would otherwise only received slower 10/1 Mbps service.”
The FCC said “carriers must deploy 25/3 Mbps service to 40 percent of locations by the end of 2022, and increase deployment by 10 percent annually until buildout is complete at the end of 2028.”
In a phone interview with ITTA Treasurer Trey Judy, Judy said that rural providers need access to fiber infrastructure and fiber deployment.
Judy lamented that ITTA’s “unique voice will be missed.”
Among the organizations continuing to advocate on behalf of wireline providers include NTCA–The Rural Broadband, US Telecom–The Broadband Association, and WTA–Advocates for Rural Broadband.
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