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For Immediate Release: February 12, 2014
Contact: Robert J. Thormeyer, 202-898-9382, rthormeyer@naruc.org

Rural Broadband Development, IP Transition Trials Top NARUC Winter Agenda

WASHINGTON—Universal Service Fund reform, rural broadband development, consumer protection, and water quality were among the issues topping the agenda during a recently concluded gathering of the nation’s State utility regulators.

In a series of resolutions passed today, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ Board of Directors urged federal regulators to ensure customers do not experience degraded voice services as companies rollout IP-based networks, recommended that the Federal Communications Commission expand the contribution base for the Universal Service Fund contribution in a way that facilitates broadband deployment in unserved areas, and supported water infrastructure improvements.

The resolutions were adopted at the conclusion of the NARUC 2014 Winter Committee Meetings in Washington. NARUC is the national association representing the State Public Service Commissioners who regulate essential utility services, including energy, telecommunications, and water. NARUC members are responsible for assuring reliable utility service at fair, just, and reasonable rates.

A summary of the resolutions is below. The full text is availble here.


Resolution Supporting Reform of the Universal Service Fund Contribution System

Resolution recommends the FCC expand the USF contribution base to fairly assess the cost of facilitating deployment of reasonably comparable broadband services in unserved/underserved areas.
Resolution to Promote Rural Broadband Deployment

Resolution supports policies to promote access to Connect America Fund (CAF) funds by utilities/critical infrastructure industries (CII) to promote broadband deployment to unserved and underserved areas where the incumbent declines support.

Resolution Urging the Federal Communications Commission to Improve Public Safety through Improved Location Accuracy Requirements for Wireless 911 Calls (Indoors and Outdoors)
Resolution urges the FCC to (1) clarify that current wireless 911 location accuracy rules apply indoors and outdoors and (2) develop/indoor location accuracy requirements for E911.

Resolution in Support of State-based, Non-Profit Public Affairs Network

Resolution encourages (1) the National Association of Public Affairs Networks to establish public affairs networks in every State, (2) each State commission to coordinate efforts with the FCC, State Executive and Legislative branches, and other stakeholders to enhance more robust digital communication networks.

Resolution Concerning Consumer Protections During Internet Protocol-Technology Transition Trials

Resolution urges the FCC to require as a standard for approving any IP-technology transition experiments that residential and small business customers in affected areas avoid any (i) degradation in the capability, quality and reliability of voice services; (ii) reduction in the availability of voice service options/providers; or (iii) increase in rates for equivalent voice services (such as federal and State Lifeline services).

Resolution Supporting the Value of Water campaign in February 2014

Resolution supports the Value of Water campaign and urges members to utilize the materials developed by the Value of Water campaign to educate water users about the role of water infrastructure in ensuring that water is clean and safe.

Resolution Supporting EPA’s WaterSense “Fix-a-Leak Week” in March 2014

Resolution encourages NARUC members to participate in EPA's "Fix-a-Leak Week.”


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NARUC is a non-profit organization founded in 1889 whose members include the governmental agencies that are engaged in the regulation of utilities and carriers in the fifty States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. NARUC's member agencies regulate telecommunications, energy, and water utilities. NARUC represents the interests of State public utility commissions before the three branches of the Federal government.

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