NEW ULM - Bill Otis, president and Chief Executive Officer of NU-Telecom, visited the offices of 2nd District Rep. John Kline, 1st District Rep. Tim Walz and Sen. Al Franken in Washington, D.C., last week to discuss the impact of providers like NU-Telecom in delivering affordable broadband services.
Otis spoke about the importance of broadband for rural business development and growth and also the ways that broadband brings education, public safety, telemedicine and other opportunities to rural consumers.
He provided an overview of NU-Telecom's service areas in the congressional districts represented by Kline and Walz as well as the state-wide representation by Franken.
Otis highlighted the types of service NU-Telecom provides in New Ulm, Hutchinson, Litchfield, Redwood Falls, Springfield, Glencoe, Sleepy Eye and Goodhue. He pointed to the number of jobs NU-Telecom provides and other services that contribute to the area's economic development.
Otis urged congressional delegates to help to continue to provide the services these communities need at an affordable rate by ensuring Universal Service Fund (USF) and intercarrier compensation reforms do not deter future broadband investment in rural America and penalize small businesses that have already invested. He explained that cuts to this important fund are putting existing investment in rural broadband at risk and discouraging future investment in new broadband-capable networks by small companies, which may lead to increased rates for telephone, broadband and other services.
Otis was in Washington to participate in the Legislative and Policy Conference hosted by NTCA The Rural Broadband Association, April 22-24. More than 500 rural telecom representatives from all over the United States gathered in the nation's capital for educational briefings about emerging rules and regulations and other industry issues.