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Farm Bill Refocuses Attention and Funding on Broadband Deployment to Unserved Communities

Independent Cable Welcomes the Opportunity to Connect Rural America

PITTSBURGH, May 15, 2008—Final passage of the Farm Bill today by the United States Congress marks a significant step forward for the deployment of affordable broadband service to rural America. The American Cable Association (ACA), which represents more than 1,100 small and independent cable providers – many of which offer broadband service to small and rural communities throughout the country, applauded the long-delayed passage of this much needed legislation and issued the following statement:

“The unacceptable division separating rural communities without broadband access from those cities and towns with it must be closed,” said ACA President and Chief Executive Officer Matthew M. Polka. “This bill has traveled a long road, but our hope is that it will have been worth the wait for the unserved communities throughout the country that will benefit from the increased funds and refocused attention of the broadband deployment effort.”

The Farm Bill includes provisions that reform the Rural Utilities Service’s (RUS) Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program to ensure that loans are provided to entities that seek to provide service to areas most in need of broadband deployment. The Bill was passed by the United States Senate today by a vote of 81 to 15, and the House of Representatives Wednesday May 14, by a vote of 318 to 106.

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About the American Cable Association
Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing 1,100 smaller and medium-sized, independent cable companies who provide broadband services for more than 7 million cable subscribers primarily located in rural and smaller suburban markets across America. Through active participation in the regulatory and legislative process in Washington, D.C., ACA’s members work together to advance the interests of their customers and ensure the future competitiveness and viability of their business. For more information, visit www.americancable.org.

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