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National Grange President Visits Tennessee

By Laura Auerbach (National Grange 3/7/10)

  MARCH 10, 2010 --

At a Sunday news conference National Grange President Ed Luttrell scolded the Federal Government on its approach to broadband deployment in rural America. He described a recent Grange letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski expressing deep concerns that the Commission's policy focus is shifting from developing a National Broadband Plan encouraging universal deployment and adoption of broadband services to underserved rural, farming, and tribal communities, to a policy focused on regulating broadband network management practices. Luttrell stressed that the Grange believes deployment of broadband across the country and especially in rural America should be the Federal Government's number one communications priority. He stated that the Commission should not be burdening "technology that it has little first had knowledge using" with unnecessary management regulations.

In November 2009 Luttrell of Sandy, Oregon was elected to his second two-year term as National Grange President. He has made rural access to affordable, reliable and competitive telecommunications technologies a priority of his administration. "Rural America needs and deserves the same access to new telecommunications technology as our urban neighbors. The Grange believes national, state, and locals laws that govern these technologies should remove the regulatory uncertainty that has deterred advanced telecommunications investment in rural America," he stated

The event, held at the Volunteer Grange Hall, 1038 Tipton Station Road in Knoxville, was overseen by Tennessee State Grange President Judy Sherrod, a 44 year Grange member. Sherrod also holds the office of National Lecturer and was voted Tennessee "Granger of the Year" in 1996.

Founded in 1867, the Grange is the nation's oldest rural advocacy organization.

With over 200,000 members, it is active in Washington, DC as well as in the capitols of 40 states across the country. Under the Grange system, the setting of legislative priorities for the coming year starts at the local level, moves up to the state level and is finalized at the annual national convention held every November. The top national priorities are published in the Grange's annual Blueprint for Rural America.



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