Tag Archive for: Chairman Ajit Pai

Chairman Ajit Pai – Want to stay up-to-date on all of GeoLinks’ latest news and the world of telecom? Check out GeoLinks’ blog by visiting Geolinks.com/NEWS

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SHLB Commends FCC Chairman Pai’s Intention to Increase Rural Health Care Funding

SHLB Commends FCC Chairman Pai’s Intention to Increase Rural Health Care Funding

June 06, 2018

For Immediate Release:
June 6, 2018

Contact:
Amy Robinson
Communications Manager, SHLB Coalition
[email protected]
(202) 261-6599

 

Washington, DC (June 6, 2018) – The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai circulated today a draft order to raise the cap of the Rural Health Care (RHC) program from $400 million to $571 million to reflect inflation over the past twenty years. The Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition,  a broad-based membership organization that includes health providers and telehealth networks, has been advocating for RHC funding and reform since December of 2015 and commends the Chairman’s announcement in favor of more funding.

The following statement can be attributed to John Windhausen, Jr., Executive Director of SHLB:

“The SHLB Coalition is extremely pleased with Chairman Pai’s intention to increase funding for the Rural Health Care program. This increase is long overdue, as the $400 M cap on the RHC program has remained set in stone for over twenty years. This proposal also addresses our concerns about the retroactive funding reductions for FY 2017 by ensuring that applicants in the current funding year can be fully reimbursed.  This action will avoid the unfortunate 15% to 25% reductions that had been announced for the current funding year. While we have not seen the entire proposal, we are encouraged that Chairman Pai has taken our concerns to heart and is responding to the SHLB Coalition’s Emergency Waiver Petition and the request by 31 US Senators – led by Senators Heitkamp and Hoeven – for more funding for the program.”

The FCC launched a proceeding to reform the RHC program in December of 2017.  In our comments filed with the FCC, the SHLB Coalition estimated that the number of eligible entities has more than doubled since the $400 million cap was set in 1997 and asked for the cap to be raised to $800 M to account for future demand. The SHLB Coalition also filed an Emergency Waiver Petition earlier this year asking the FCC to fully fund applicants for FY2017 and to avoid the retroactive rate increases on services provided as of July 1, 2017. SHLB has pointed out that the $400 M cap does not reflect the enormous changes in the rural health care marketplace, including the closure of scores of rural hospitals, the improvements in telemedicine, the growth of electronic medical records, the doubling of eligible health care providers, and the rural broadband gap.

The SHLB Coalition previously filed comments and reply comments in the FCC’s WC Docket No. 17-310 with the following four main recommendations to reform the Universal Service Fund program: 1) Increase the cap to $800 million to meet the current demand; 2) Encourage the formation of consortia in the Healthcare Connect Fund; 3) Establish funding tiers to ensure funds are distributed to the most rural areas; and 4) Improve administrative  efficiency, transparency, and protection against waste, fraud, and abuse. Visit http://www.shlb.org/policy/Rural-Health-Care to learn more about SHLB’s advocacy to improve our nation’s telehealth.

 

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FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Appoints GeoLinks’ CEO Skyler Ditchfield to the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee

Recognizing GeoLinks as an industry thought-leader in the country’s evolving broadband discussion, the FCC formally appointed Skyler Ditchfield, CEO, to the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee’s Streamlining Federal Siting Working Group.

News Verified via FCC Public Notice GN Docket No.17-83

On Thursday, August 3, 2017, The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman, Ajit Pai, officially appointed California Internet, L.P., DBA GeoLinks’ CEO, Skyler Ditchfield, to serve on the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC or Committee). Ditchfield will represent GeoLinks as he serves on the BDAC’s Streamlining Federal Siting Working Group (SFSWG), 1 of 5 internal task forces operating within the overarching committee.

Established by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on January 31, 2017, the BDAC provides advice and recommendations to the FCC regarding how to accelerate the deployment of high-speed Internet access by reducing and/or removing regulatory barriers to infrastructure investment. This Committee is intended to provide an effective means for stakeholders with interests in this area to exchange ideas and develop recommendations for the Commission, which will in turn enhance the Commission’s ability to carry out its statutory responsibility to encourage broadband deployment to all Americans.

The SFSWG is specifically charged with developing recommendations to improve the process of siting on federal lands and federally managed properties by:

Recommending standard procedures for facility siting
Examining and providing recommendations on how to standardize the duration of leases and easements
Considering whether to recommend a shot clock for the processing of applications for facilities siting on federal land by federal agencies
Exploring and reporting on possible methods for federal agencies to identify and report on coverage gaps and deficiencies
Recommending procedures for creating and maintaining a publicly accessible inventory of space that can be used to attach or install broadband infrastructure
“I am honored that Chairman Pai selected me to serve on the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee,” said Ditchfield. “Appointing a nimble, mid-sized, fixed wireless ISP like GeoLinks to the committee further proves his dedication to making progressive moves towards closing the digital divide. Pai recognizes that this is a critical moment in our country’s social and economic broadband discussion, and I am thrilled to offer GeoLinks’ insight and expertise on how to accelerate national broadband deployment. Furthermore, GeoLinks will be working relentlessly with the Microsoft Whitespace Projects, pushing for more rural and urban wireless spectrum, ultimately driving competition. We are passionate about getting things done as quickly as possible. Like Chairman Pai, GeoLinks realizes that the time to procrastinate is officially over—we’re ready to take action and create visible change now.”

Sitting alongside Ditchfield on the committee are industry-leaders such as Daniel Jorjani, Principal Deputy Solicitor and Acting Solicitor of the Department of Interior, Kellie McGinness Kubena, Director, Engineering and Environmental Staff Rural Utilities Service Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, John Saw, Chief Technology Officer of Sprint, and more.

For media inquiries or to schedule an interview with Skyler Ditchfield, please contact Lexie Olson at lolson(at)geolinks.com.

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About GeoLinks

Founded in 2011 by CEO, Skyler Ditchfield, and CTO, Ryan Hauf, GeoLinks is the fastest growing B2B fixed wireless Internet Service Provider (ISP) in California. Proud to service the largest coverage area of any single provider in the state, GeoLinks expanded its territory in 2017 delivering Enterprise-Grade Internet, Layer 2 Transport, and Turnkey Construction expertly tailored for all business and Anchor Institutions nationwide.

With industry leading installation times, GeoLinks’ flagship service, ClearFiber, offers customers fixed wireless on the most resilient and scalable network ever built. Boasting ultra-low latency, 99.999% uptime, sub 10ms jitter, and a 4-hour max response time, GeoLinks prides itself on consistently delivering the industry’s best Service Level Agreement.

Amongst its many accolades, GeoLinks was the largest construction grant winner for California K-12 schools and libraries in both 2016 and 2017. Servicing thousands of businesses across the country, GeoLinks officially became a CLEC and public utility in 2017.

About The Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee

On January 31, 2017, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced the formation of a new federal advisory committee, the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC or Committee), which will provide advice and recommendations for the Commission on how to accelerate the deployment of high-speed Internet access. The Commission intends to establish the BDAC for a period of two (2) years, with an expected starting date during the spring of 2017.

The BDAC’s mission is to make recommendations for the Commission on how to accelerate the deployment of high-speed Internet access, or “broadband,” by reducing and/or removing regulatory barriers to infrastructure investment. This Committee is intended to provide an effective means for stakeholders with interests in this area to exchange ideas and develop recommendations for the Commission, which will in turn enhance the Commission’s ability to carry out its statutory responsibility to encourage broadband deployment to all Americans.