Site Visit: Mammoth Networks
By Jamie Saloom, Assistant Chief Counsel
As the attorney in Advocacy who is tasked with overseeing regulations issued by the FCC, I work closely with small telecommunications and broadband providers to identify issues that make it more difficult for them to enter the market and compete with larger businesses. In a recent meeting with a group of small businesses, I had the opportunity to meet the CEO of Mammoth Networks, Brian Worthen. He had come to D.C. from Wyoming to meet with policy makers to discuss his concerns about a petition by USTelecom to the FCC asking the agency to forbear from enforcement of significant parts of the 1996 Telecom Act. Advocacy has expressed concerns to the FCC that the petition, if granted, would devastate small businesses like Mammoth. The letter we filed last month, can be seen here: https://www.sba.gov/advocacy/8-1-18-letter-fcc-regarding-regulatory-reform-priorities.
When I mentioned that I would be traveling to Wyoming to participate in our next series of regulatory reform roundtables, Brian offered to meet with me in Casper and show me around the network his company is building. We were fortunate to see some of the company’s ingenuity firsthand. We also had the opportunity to visit one of Mammoth’s customers, who shared his reasons for choosing to work with a small company like Mammoth. The customer was an energy company whose pipelines and operations cover large geographic areas, and must be connected to the internet for safety and response reasons; they chose to work with Mammoth because Mammoth was more responsive, flexible and reliable than the local incumbent. As we toured a few of Mammoth’s facilities it was apparent that small providers are using every tool in the telecom toolbox to provide customers with services they wouldn’t have access to otherwise.
Following our meeting, Brian wrote in a personal blog post about his experiences coming to D.C. and meeting with Advocacy in the field. “Perhaps I assumed that Washington wasn’t interested in what rural broadband providers in Gillette, Wyoming, or Buhler, Kansas, or Columbia, Missouri, Hood River, Oregon, were doing. I was wrong.” As the FCC continues to consider a number of regulatory issues affecting small businesses, I do hope that they too are able to get out into the field and meet with small providers like Mammoth on their turf. It is eye opening to see how innovative and resourceful these companies are, and to hear about the real difference they are making for customers, particularly in rural areas like Casper, Wyoming.
Advocacy was in Wyoming and Colorado for Regional Regulatory Reform Roundtables August 7-9.
Can’t get to a roundtable near you? Fill out this form and tell us about your federal regulatory burdens. We will pass this information on to the appropriate agency and use it in the planning of upcoming Regional Regulatory Reform Roundtables.
Jamie Saloom is the Assistant Chief Counsel for Intellectual Property and Telecommunications. She can be reached at Jamie.Saloom@sba.gov.