WISPA President Alex Phillips' Letter to Donald Trump
Washington, DC (January 12, 2017) – WISPA president Alex Phillips sent the following letter, dated January 12, 2017 to President-elect Donald Trump, along with an enclosure of WISPA Policy Priorities for 2017-2018:
Dear President-elect Trump:
On behalf of thousands of small businesses providing broadband service to rural Americans across the nation, the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (www.WISPA.org) congratulates you on your election and wishes you and your team all the best as you embark on your Administration.
Knowing your passions about helping U.S.-based businesses, creating American jobs, boosting rural communities, eliminating costly regulations, and unleashing the power of entrepreneurship, we are eager to work with you to encourage innovation, investment, and consumer choice in broadband services.
Our industry is somewhat under-recognized but is one of the most dynamic in all of telecommunications. It is comprised of more than 3,000 mostly small- and medium-sized businesses that deliver high-quality broadband services to more than 4 million customers in all 50 states. Our businesses are located primarily in rural areas – the types of communities that are usually bypassed by the largest telephone and cable companies.
Most wireless internet service providers (WISPs, also known as “fixed wireless” providers) have built their networks with private, at-risk capital without government subsidies or incumbent-protecting regulations. Most WISPs are led by entrepreneurs who grew up and live in the communities they serve. Most are staffed by fewer than 10 employees and serve fewer than 2,000 customers each.
From our roots in rural America, fixed wireless is also beginning to compete effectively in suburban and urban markets for residential, business, governmental and institutional customers. Our total number of subscribers is projected to nearly double to 8 million by 2021.
Given our roots in rural America, in innovation, and in entrepreneurship, WISPA’s federal policy efforts are focused on four primary objectives:
* Modernizing the Communications Act to better reflect 21st Century communications technologies and business realities;
* Eliminating FCC regulations that disproportionately burden small broadband providers with compliance costs and enforcement risks, which chill investment, deter innovation, and raise costs to consumers;
* Gaining access to additional spectrum, including spectrum shared with governmental and other commercial users; and
* Reforming broadband subsidy programs to expedite service deployments in under-served locations in a technology-neutral and cost-effective manner.
But the bottom line is this: Given our cost-efficient technologies and business models, as well as our demonstrated ability to bring broadband to neglected markets without subsidies, we respectfully ask you to foster a policy environment that enables us to serve more American consumers in the most cost-effective manner possible.
Thank you for your consideration of our policy priorities as your Administration gets underway.
President of WISPA
CEO and General Manager, RBNS.net
Cc: Vice President-elect Mike Pence
Enclosure: WISPA Policy Priorities for 2017-2018
WISPA is a membership-driven trade association that promotes the development, advancement and unity of the fixed wireless internet service provider industry. For more information, visit www.wispa.org.
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