Staff Subcommittee on Telecommunications

This agenda is subject to change.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Location: Key 8

8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Closed Session: States Issues Updates & Planning

12:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Lunch (On Own)
1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.

State Reverse Pre-emption

Federal law allows States that choose to do so to regulate pole attachments and rights-of-way access (the “reverse preemption”).  Regulating attachments and rights-of-way access are critical in deploying new technology and facilities needed to provide mobile service, 4G today, and 5G in the near future. The attachment of these new technologies and facilities, in turn, raises issues concerning information on local topography and conditions, public policy, health impacts, and the economics of deployments. The panelists will discuss reverse preemption and the policies and solutions needed to address the concerns being raised.

Moderator: Teresa Ferguson, Colorado


Chris Witteman, California

Joe Tiernan, Massachusetts

David C. Bergmann, Principal, Telecom Policy Consulting for Consumers

Russell Frisby, Energy and Telecommunications Attorney, Stinson Leonard Street

Paul Glist, Partner, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

2:15 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Lifeline ETCs – What are the states doing/requested to do/should be doing? (e.g. outreach, enforcement)  

A recent FCC Order replaced State designation of Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (ETC) designation, a function that the States perform under Section 214 of federal law which is required before a carrier can receive federal support, with a novel FCC designation for Broadband Lifeline Providers. While that matter was under appeal, the FCC requested the court to remand the matter back to the FCC. The Court agreed and the FCC is currently considering the FCC designation process. In the meantime, however, the Broadband Lifeline program has continued to roll out in the States. This ongoing implementation has given rise to concerns with consumer awareness and education about these new programs and rules, how to verify what consumers are eligible under the new rules, and what agency will address the inevitable consumer complaints about quality of service as they arise. The panelists will examine what is underway at the FCC and what the states are or could be doing to address these issues.

Moderator: Greg Doyle, Minnesota


Cary Hinton, District of Columbia

David C. Bergmann, Principal, Telecom Policy Consulting for Consumers

Danielle Frappier, Partner, Chair, Communications Practice, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP 

Geoffrey Why, Counsel, Verrill Dana LLP

3:30 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. Networking Break

3:45 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Resolution Introduction – Industry Input

Sunday, November 12, 2017

9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Location: Holiday 2
9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.

Mobile Broadband, Wireless Propagation & the 706 NOI

The FCC’s Section 706 Report previously stated that consumers were not adequately served with advanced telecommunications unless those consumers have access to wireline and wireless broadband.  The availability of high quality wireless service for voice, video and data can vary due to distance, physical geography, and structures, among other issues. Wireless carriers use propagation analysis and models to predict coverage and inform the engineering of the wireless towers and networks. At the same time, federal and State legislators and regulators rely on the coverage information provided from the telecom carriers in determining the existence of competition and the need for ongoing subsidies. This session is intended to educate the audience on the concept, models and variables of wireless propagation models. The panel will then discuss related issues and positions in the 706 NOI.

Moderator: Lynn Notarianni, Colorado


Joseph Witmer, Pennsylvania

Adam Nelson, Senior Consultant, Federal Engineering, Inc.

Gerald J. Duffy, Partner, Blooston Law

10:15 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Networking Break
10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Wireless Resiliency

In December 2016, the FCC issued an Order aimed at promoting wireless resiliency. The Order adopted a voluntary framework that reflected earlier discussions with the wireless industry. The FCC recently issued a Wireless Resiliency notice on August 3, 2017 at DA 17-732 in Docket 11-60 seeking public input on how to address a voluntary framework in light of the December 2016 Order. The deadline for comments was September 3, 2017, 30 days after issuance of the Wireless Resiliency notice. The panelists will outline what they have volunteered to do and who has volunteered. They will also discuss what issues have been raised and remain in that docket, and what the States’ role may be going forward.

Moderator: Joseph Witmer, Pennsylvania


Hon. Johann Clendenin, USVI

Ben Aaron, Director, State & Regulatory Affairs, CTIA

Alvaro Pilar, Chief Executive Officer ViYA

Brent Struthers, Senior Strategist, State Government Relations, Neustar

11:45a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Lunch (on own)
1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

The State of FirstNet

FirstNet recently selected ATT to be their partner in the development of FirstNet, a network and service designed to facilitate nationwide First Responder interoperability. Verizon has recently stated that they intend to compete and compliment the FirstNet/AT&T network and are requesting full interoperability. The panelists will provide an update on the FirstNet deployment, and what Verizon’s role as a potential alternative provider could play in the delivery of a nationwide interoperable First Responder communications network.

Moderator: Cullen Robbins, Nebraska


Don Brittingham, Vice President Public Safety Policy, Verizon

Andrew Delaney, Government Affairs, FirstNet 

Edmond Vea, Director of Interoperability,  Rivada Networks

Gregory Rohde, President, e-Copernicus

2:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. Networking Break
2:15 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.


The FCC’s universal service fund now supports voice and broadband networks and services. The FCC’s universal service assessments to support those services, however, are limited to voice services. There has been considerable discussion over a number of years on what, if any, reforms to the funding mechanism are needed to reflect the federal emphasis on voice and broadband networks and services. The panelists will address where the contributions issue stands and what, if any, issues the FCC and the States should consider when it comes to supporting voice and broadband networks and services. 

Moderator: Hon. Chris Nelson, South Dakota


Labros Pilalis, Pennsylvania

Rick Cimerman, VP External & State Affairs, NCTA

Joe Gillan, Consultant, Gillan Associates

Mike Romano, Senior Vice President of Policy, NTCA

Allison Ellis, Sr. VP Regulatory Affairs, Frontier Communications

3:15 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Resolutions Discussion – Staff Final Disposition