Securing networks, data, and devices is one of the biggest challenges facing businesses and consumers today. The importance of robust cybersecurity protections has never been greater in light of revelations of large data breaches affecting public and private sector entities–large, small, and everything in between.
Through collaboration with industry, the Executive Branch has developed the voluntary NIST Cybersecurity Framework for Critical Infrastructure while Congress continues to develop cybersecurity policies and legislation to help protect American consumers and businesses. WTA, as a member of the CommSector Coordinating Council, works to make sure that the unique challenges facing small rural telecommunications providers and their customers are heard and considered in the process.
WTA has engaged with policymakers since the beginning of investigations by Congress and the Federal Communications Commission into the use of Chinese equipment in USF-supported networks. Of note, WTA has advocated that policymakers be careful not to degrade service in rural America and cause carriers to lose the gains made to bring communications services to those living in rural areas. WTA has advocated that any change not impact the Universal Service Fund (USF) and has also argued that carriers be reimbursed if they are required to remove and replace Chinese equipment. More recently, WTA has argued that any modernization of USF support should take into account the increasing costs imposed by cybersecurity challenges.