In a speech to NTCA—The Rural Broadband Association yesterday, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai pointed out that, according to the Rural Utilities Service, carriers just aren’t taking out loans to deploy more broadband, that “investment is not just chilled, but on ice.” The commish, who hails from a small town in Kansas, noted, “We are spending the same amount of money as before on high-cost loop support but seeing less broadband deployment. In other words, we are getting less bang for the buck.” However, help is on the way. Pai assured the group “there will be an entirely new model next year for the quantile regression analysis (QRA) benchmarks (part of the Connect America Fund [WC Docket No. 10-90] and High-Cost Universal Service Support [WC Docket No. 05-337]). This means that rural carriers will have a fresh chance to make their voices heard at the commission. Come talk to us.Remind us that investing in rural America is not a one- or two-year investment but a 10- or 20-year commitment.”

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