While rural telecoms say their Universal Service Reform proposal and that of big carriers dovetail in the same basic reform framework, they stopped short of signing on to last week's America's Broadband Connectivity plan proposal submitted by six major carriers.
Last week, the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association, the Organization for the Promotion and Advancement of Small Telecommunications Companies and Western Telecommunications Alliance joined with those big six to support a "framework of complementary reform."
But Shirley Bloomfield, NTCA CEO said the rural and larger carriers still have separate plans that, together, "provide a foundation for reform going forward. We did not endorse their plan and they did not endorse ours, Bloomfield said, "but we have crafted them to work together."
In a joint letter last week, Bloomfield said her group is supportive of tying the two plans together. "But we stayed silent on each other's individual findings, she said, "and did not endorse their proposal."