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Rural Telco Associations Agree to Merge

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA) and the Organization for the Promotion and Advancement of Small Telecommunications Companies (OPASTCO) today announced that the associations will unify. This joining of two well-known entities increases the policy strength for the rural telecommunications industry and expands the business opportunities for growth and development for rural telecom companies. As of March 1, the new organization will be known as NTCA, The Rural Broadband Association. "It is encouraging to see the rural telecom industry unify their organizations and policy initiatives," stated Robert M. McDowell, commissioner at the Federal Communications Commission. "This enables the industry to lead with one voice and focus their efforts. I look forward to working with the new organization." "Rural telecom companies have dedicated themselves to rural communities and consumers for many years," stated NTCA Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield. "As telecommunications has changed, so have these small, independent companies. The unification of our organizations is another step in the evolution. We are excited for all the new possibilities within the industry as a united force. All rural telecom companies and the communities they serve will benefit from the policy strength we gain as a unified industry." National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA)

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