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Top Left L-R: Jeff Wick (WTC) and Jason Smith (Rainbow) discuss the concerns about RDOF and review how many Kansans would be left behind if the FCC does not scrutinize the long forms.

Top Right L-R: Garrison Holmberg listens to Scott Leitzel (Twin Valley), Brent Cunningham (Cunningham) and Terry Cunningham Review the pros and cons of fixed wireless and how fiber is necessary for the towers to work. Fixed wireless has helped the camping area around Glen Elder.

Middle Left L-R: Randy Hoffman (WST), Mark Gailey (Totah), Garrison Holmberg and Greg Reed (WST) review the cost of installing fiber, how their families got started in the Telcom business, the challenges they see ahead with RDOF and the need for contribution reform.

Middle Right L-R: Garrison Holmberg, Mike Murphy, Tonya Murphy, Lance Murphy and Grant Murphy discuss the regulatory burden on small family businesses.

Last week the CCK members had the pleasure to host Garrison Holmberg, Senator Moran’s Legislative Assistant for Telecom Issues, across Kansas – here are the fun facts!

  • Spent 3.5 days visiting Kansas rural telcos
  • Traveled over 800 miles
  • Stopped at 11 rural telco or customer offices
  • Met with 34 senior management staff representing 22 companies!   

During these visits, the CCK members visited with Garrison about a number of issues including:  RDOF concerns, contribution reform to include edge providers, the need for monetary support for capital expenses and operational costs, the importance of USF, the proposed budget control reduction, the challenges of serving people in the high-cost areas, and the need to set higher speed requirements for an infrastructure program.  

Each visit also described the hard work done by the rural telcos to serve their neighbors and the fear that RDOF, as of today, would at the best provide rural consumers will receive inferior service but most likely will leave many unserved, while also precluding these areas from any other federal or state program for the next 10 years.

It was also very heartwarming to Garrison to learn about how often the rural telcos provide service or donate their labor to various community events and locations to improve the quality of life to that community or a community event.  While a lot of these visits were in the offices, we also ensured Garrison had the opportunity to see fiber being laid and boring at a SCTelcom site in Barber county and we also went to a location where WST will be installing fiber soon.  

It was awesome to have Garrison spend this week with the CCK members. We want to thank Sen. Moran for authorizing Garrison to start digging into the telecom issues facing Kansans and the rural telco industry.  Thank you to everyone that hosted and participated in the tour – you did such an outstanding job!

Topeka Kansas

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