On November 13, 2016, David LaFuria participated in a panel discussion at NARUC’s annual meeting in Palm Springs, California titled, “Rural Wireless and Consumers: New Proposals and Issues.” Mr. LaFuria outlined the significant need for additional mobile broadband in rural America and the public safety, health care, and economic benefits of mobile broadband infrastructure. He also discussed problems with the FCC’s recent Form 477 data collection which overstates mobile coverage, making areas ineligible for federal support that otherwise need improved service. Mr. LaFuria outlined the FCC’s Mobility Fund Phase II, describing it as inadequate to meet the statutory directive that rural citizens should have access to services that are reasonably comparable to those in urban areas. Finally, Mr. LaFuria provided a draft broadband grant program rule for consideration, to assist states in developing their own universal service mechanisms to meet the needs of their rural citizens. A copy of Mr. LaFuria’s presentation is here, and a copy of the proposed broadband grant rule is here.
LNGS Contacts: David LaFuria