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Statement of ACA President/CEO Matt Polka on NTIA, RUS, FCC Joint Forum On Allocating $7.2 billion In Broadband Grants and Loans

PITTSBURGH, March 10, 2009 -- The American Cable Association welcomed the Obama Administration's decision to hold a number of public forums in March on how it plans to allocate $7.2 billion in broadband stimulus loans and grants by September 2010.

"An open process so our members will know how to apply for funding is vital. ACA salutes the Obama Administration for planning a number of public sessions in Washington, D.C., Las Vegas, Nev., and Flagstaff, Ariz. on the best ways to design a program intended to benefit unserved communities," ACA president and CEO Matt Polka said.

Representatives from the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the Agriculture Department's Telecommunications Program, and the Federal Communications Commission held a 90-minute public meeting today in Washington D.C. on implementing the broadband program included in the recently enacted $787 billion economic recovery package.

Responding to an email submitted by ACA president Polka, officials from NTIA and the Agriculture Department pledged to implement a streamlined application process in order to issue grants and loans on an expedited basis.

"For too long, federal applications for loans and grants have imposed heavy administrative cost burdens on small cable companies. ACA is gratified that the Obama Administration is committed to an open, streamlined process with a minimum of red tape," Polka added. "ACA members look forward to sitting down with NTIA, FCC and Agriculture Department officials to discuss the needs of small cable companies interested in seeking grants and loans."

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About the American Cable Association
Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing more than 900 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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