The logo of the United States Telecom Association
|Formation||May 1, 1897|
|Headquarters||601 New Jersey Ave, NW Suite 600 |
Washington, D.C., United States
|Communications carriers and small cooperatives|
Chairman of the Board
|Russell "Rusty" Moore, General Manager & COO, Big Bend Telephone|
Chairman of the Leadership Committee
|Jason Williams, CEO, Blackfoot Telecommunications Group|
President and CEO
|United States Telephone Association|
The United States Telecom Association (USTelecom) is an organization that represents telecommunications-related businesses based in the United States. As a trade association, it represent the converged interests of the country's telecommunications industry. Member companies represent a diverse set of communications-related businesses, including those that provide wireless, Internet, cable television, long distance, local exchange, and voice services. Members include large publicly traded communications carriers as well as small telephone cooperatives that serve only a few hundred customers in urban and rural areas.The organization was founded as the Independent Telephone Association of America in 1897, and represented the telecommunication industry of North America that was not affiliated with the Bell System led by the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T).
The United States Telecom Association (USTelecom) was founded in Chicago, Illinois, on May 17, 1897, when a group of independent telephone company executives convened at the Palmer House to create an organization called the Independent Telephone Association.After the 1894 expiration of Alexander Graham Bell's principal telephone patent, thousands of independent telephone companies sprouted in the telephone industry in the last decade of the 19th century. These companies organized to promote growth of their industry and develop alliances on issues that crossed state lines. Renamed as the United States Independent Telephone Association in 1915, the organization focused on educational programs for its members, standardization efforts and representing its members on relevant policy issues addressed by the federal government. For instance, as the telephone industry grew, Congress enacted new laws, including the Communications Act of 1934 that established the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which among a variety of initiatives, set a universal service goal of connecting all Americans via affordable, accessible telecommunications services. To meet the requirements of the new statutes, telephone companies worked through the association to educate members, develop common policy positions and interface with policymakers in Congress and at the FCC.
|Year||Name of Association|
|1897||Independent Telephone Association of America (ITAA)|
|1903||Independent Telephone Association of the United States of America (ITAUSA)|
|1904||National Independent Telephone Association of the United States (NITAUS)|
|1909||National Independent Telephone Association (NITA)|
|1915||United States Independent Telephone Association (USITA)|
|1983||United States Telephone Association (USTA)|
|1999||United States Telecom Association (USTelecom)|
In modern times, USTelecom also advocates on behalf of the telecommunications industry to Courts, the White House, and the media.
As an American not-for-profit corporation, USTelecom is governed by a 19-member Board of Directors and an 18-member Leadership Committee. The Board of Directors is composed of member company executives that have been nominated by members of the Leadership Committee. The Leadership Committee comprises executives from small-to-mid-sized telecom companies that are members of the association.As of October 2019, the Chairman of the Board is Russell "Rusty" Moore, General Manager & COO of Big Bend Telephone and the Chairman of the Leadership Committee is Jason Williams, CEO of Blackfoot Telecommunications Group. Since January 2017, Jonathan Spalter has served as President & CEO of USTelecom.
The association offers three different categories of paid membership:
USTelecom serves as a forum in which member companies can coordinate advocacy of particular policy issues important to their companies and the telecommunications industry via the association's seven standing Committees and other ad hoc Committees.
Notable Ad Hoc Committees:
Beyond representing member companies' interests to legislators, the administration, the FCC, and in courts, USTelecom conducts member education programs through webinars, conferences and leadership development programs. Other departments in the association dually support these educational and advocacy programs through the distribution of research briefsand industry-relevant newsletters.
Local loop unbundling is the regulatory process of allowing multiple telecommunications operators to use connections from the telephone exchange to the customer's premises. The physical wire connection between the local exchange and the customer is known as a "local loop", and is owned by the incumbent local exchange carrier. To increase competition, other providers are granted unbundled access.
Censorship and the issue of media freedom in Russia have been main themes since the era of the telegraph. Radio was a major new technology in the 1920s, when the Communists had recently come to power. Soviet authorities realized that the "ham" operator was highly individualistic and encouraged private initiative– too much so for the totalitarian regime. Criminal penalties were imposed but the working solution was to avoid broadcasting over the air. Instead radio programs were transmitted by copper wire, using a hub and spoke system, to loudspeakers in approved listening stations, such as the "Red" corner of a factory. Due to the enormous size of the country Russia today leads in the number of TV broadcast stations and repeaters. There were few channels in the Soviet time, but in the past two decades many new state-run and private-owned radio stations and TV channels appeared.
A telephone company, also known as a telco, telephone service provider, or telecommunications operator, is a kind of communications service provider (CSP), more precisely a telecommunications service provider (TSP), that provides telecommunications services such as telephony and data communications access. Many telephone companies were at one time government agencies or privately owned but state-regulated monopolies. The government agencies are often referred to, primarily in Europe, as PTTs.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent agency of the United States government that regulates communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable across the United States. The FCC maintains jurisdiction over the areas of broadband access, fair competition, radio frequency use, media responsibility, public safety, and homeland security.
The Communications Act of 1934 is a United States federal law signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on June 19, 1934 and codified as Chapter 5 of Title 47 of the United States Code, 47 U.S.C. § 151 et seq. The Act replaced the Federal Radio Commission with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). It also transferred regulation of interstate telephone services from the Interstate Commerce Commission to the FCC.
The Telecommunications Act of 1996 was the first significant overhaul of telecommunications law in more than sixty years, amending the Communications Act of 1934. The Act, signed by President Bill Clinton, represented a major change in American telecommunication law, since it was the first time that the Internet was included in broadcasting and spectrum allotment.
The Telecommunications policy in the US is a framework of law directed by government and the Regulatory Commissions, most notably the Federal Communications Commission. Two landmark acts prevail today, the Communications Act of 1934 and the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The latter was intended to revise the first act and specifically to foster competition in the telecommunications industry.
Universal service is an economic, legal and business term used mostly in regulated industries, referring to the practice of providing a baseline level of services to every resident of a country. An example of this concept is found in the US Telecommunications Act of 1996, whose goals are:
Embarq Corporation was the largest independent local exchange carrier in the United States, serving customers in 18 states and providing local, long-distance, high-speed data and wireless services to residential and business customers. It had been formerly the local telephone division (LTD) of Sprint Nextel until 2006, when it was spun off as an independent company. Embarq produced more than $6 billion in revenues annually, and had approximately 18,000 employees.
The telecommunications industry in China is dominated by three state-run businesses: China Telecom, China Unicom and China Mobile. The three companies were formed by restructuring launched in May 2008, directed by Ministry of Information Industry (MII), Nationals Development and Reform Commissions (NDRC) and Minister of Finance. Since then, all the three companies gained 3G licenses and engaged fixed-line and mobile business in China.
The Universal Service Fund (USF) is a system of telecommunications subsidies and fees managed by the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) intended to promote universal access to telecommunications services in the United States. The FCC established the fund in 1997 in compliance with the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The FCC is a government agency that implements and enforces America's communication regulations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and other U.S. territories. The Universal Service Fund's budget ranges from $5–8 billion per year depending on the needs of the telecommunications providers. These needs include the cost to maintain the hardware needed for their services and the services themselves. The total 2019 proposed budget for the USF was $8.4 billion. The budget is revised Quarterly allowing the service providers to accurately estimate their costs. As of 2019, roughly 60% of the USF budget was put towards “high-cost” areas, 19% went to libraries and schools, 13% was for low income areas, and 8% was for rural health care. In 2019 the rate for the USF budget was 24.4% of a telecom company's interstate and international end-user revenues.
The Internet in the United States grew out of the ARPANET, a network sponsored by the Advanced Research Projects Agency of the U.S. Department of Defense during the 1960s. The Internet in the United States in turn provided the foundation for the worldwide Internet of today.
Stuart N. Brotman is an American government policymaker; university professor; management consultant; lawyer; author and editorial adviser; and non-profit organization executive. He has taught students from 42 countries in six separate disciplines — Communications, Journalism, Business, Law, International Relations and Public Policy. He also has advised private and public sector clients in more than 30 countries in five continents.
Verizon Communications Inc. v. Federal Communications Commission, 535 U.S. 467 (2002), is a United States Supreme Court case in which Verizon Communications argued that the FCC had an unreasonable way for setting rates for leasing network elements. It held that the FCC can require state commissions to set the rates charged by incumbents for leased elements on a forward-looking basis untied to the incumbents' investment and that the FCC can require incumbents to combine elements of their networks at the request of entrants.
USTAv.FCC is the 2004 court case in which the Washington, D.C., Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the Federal Communication Commission's Triennial Review Order (TRO). The court's decision is based on the Telecommunications Act of 1996 section 251 which defines unbundled network elements (UNEs) for incumbent local exchange carriers and competitive local exchange carriers.
The Program on Information Resources Policy (PIRP) was a research program at Harvard University, sometimes referred to informally as "Harvard’s think tank on the information age." See for a complete explanation. It was established on February 1, 1973 by Anthony Oettinger and John LeGates and closed on June 30, 2011 by the same principals. It worked in the realm of communications and information resources. At most points in its history it employed as many as 15 full time staffers, mostly professionals, as well as hosting scores of visiting scholars and sponsored researchers over the years. At any given time it was supported by about 100 different public and private organizations.
Walter McCormick, is a lawyer, former government official and former trade association executive.
The history of AT&T dates back to the invention of the telephone. The Bell Telephone Company was established in 1877 by Alexander Graham Bell, who obtained the first US patent for the telephone, and his father-in-law, Gardiner Greene Hubbard. Bell and Hubbard also established American Telephone and Telegraph Company in 1885, which acquired the Bell Telephone Company and became the primary telephone company in the United States. This company maintained an effective monopoly on local telephone service in the United States until anti-trust regulators agreed to allow AT&T to retain Western Electric and enter general trades computer manufacture and sales in return for its offer to split the Bell System by divesting itself of ownership of the Bell operating Companies in 1982.
The Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA), formerly known as PCIA, is an American trade association for wireless providers and companies that build cell phone towers, rooftop wireless sites, and other facilities that transmit wireless communication signals. The Washington Post described the industry as "the people who build all those cell towers so you can actually make those calls, download that data." These technologies are collectively referred to as "wireless telecommunications infrastructure."
NTCA - The Rural Broadband Association (NTCA) is a membership association with the goal of improving communications services in rural America. With a membership comprising nearly 850 independent rural American telecommunications companies in forty-four states, NTCA provides training and employee benefit packages to its members. It also advocates rural issues to legislatures, including universal service, rural infrastructure, cybersecurity, telemedicine, and consumer protection.