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How the NetAmerica model is helping shape the future for independent carriers.

Independent rural carriers have always faced a unique set of financial and business challenges in building and running communication networks. If their challenges could be summed up in two phrases they would be "lack of scale" and "lack of population density" For years this unfavorable economic model was supported by universal service policy allowing the good citizens of rural America to enjoy advanced communication services.

In early 2009, Congress directed the FCC to develop a national broadband plan to ensure every American has "access to broadband capability" This plan required a detailed strategy for achieving affordability and maximizing the use of broadband to advance national objectives including consumer welfare, job creation, public safety and homeland security.

One of the key objectives of the plan was to ensure universal access to broadband network services through a number of initiatives:

* Create the Connect America Fund (CAF)

* Create a Targeted Mobility Fund

* Transition the "Legacy" High-Cost Component of the USF

* Reform Intercarrier Compensation

* Broaden the USF Contribution Base to Ensure USF Remains Sustainable Over Time

The shift from providing "legacy" high cost loop support for what has historically been a narrowband voice infrastructure to an infrastructure focused on broadband is very clear. The delivery of that broadband service, whether over fiber or via wireless broadband, is essentially an economic decision. But it is an important one because the CAF has an updated algorithm based on a regression analysis to determine the cost basis of a "high cost loop," and therefore in the new plan some carriers experience a drop in the amount of money they receive using the new calculation method when compared to the amount they historically received.

In a nutshell, these changes mean that the historic government support model by which independent carriers have operated and funded their businesses for years has changed and the old model is not coming back. What it also means is that carriers choosing to build fiber to the home in order to meet the requirement of 4 Mbps down, 1 Mbps up do so with the knowledge that in high cost loop areas, their financial support mechanism may become financially unsustainable.

There is an alternative for carriers that acquired 700 MHz or AWS spectrum. Wireless broadband has the ability to blanket large geographic areas very cost-effectively. In areas where a lack of population density and long loop lengths challenge the financial model, it is often the only affordable answer.

NebAmerica Alliance: The Right Answer ab the Right Time

NetAmerica Alliance was formed to provide the infrastructure, services and scale that 700 MHz and AWS license holders require to compete. Members join the Alliance, build, run and control their local network, while NetAmerica business and network services help them drive revenue, reduce cost and gain national reach. It is the perfect answer for a business impacted by cuts in government support.

NebAmerica Alliance provides:

* Nationwide coverage and buying power

* National and local branding, marketing & sales programs

* Service creation & implementation

* 24/7 network monitoring and support

* Access to an ecosystem of premier technology partners

* Access to our world-class IMS-Powered SuperCenterTM for value added services

If you would like to see what we are doing for our existing members that are all deploying live 4G LIE service powered by our IP Multimedia Subsystem network, please contact us today at (1-888-686-2747).

* NetAmerica Alliance, LLC

* Chuck Harris

* 954-654-5152


* 2711 LBJ Freeway, Suite 560, Dallas, Texas 75234
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Title Annotation:NetAmerica Alliance LLC.
Publication:Rural Telecommunications
Article Type:Column
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2012
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