Telecommunications

This agenda is subject to change.

Telecommunications

Saturday, November 11

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

Panelists: 

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

Panelists:   

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

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

Panelists: 

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


Panelists:

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

Panelists: 

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.

Contributions

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

Panelists: 

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

Monday, November 13

9:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Location: Holiday 2
9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.

Universally Affordable Broadband – What are the Barriers and How to Define Success

This panel explores options to bring the “next generation” of wired and wireless broadband solutions to disadvantaged areas and high cost areas. Areas that will be covered include the role of USF, infrastructure investment (private, federal, and State), opportunities for partnerships, the reasonableness of a gigabit for everyone regardless of price, and the potential benefit of the FCC pending auction process.

Moderator: Hon. Paul Kjellander, Idaho 

Panelists:     

Benjamin Aron, Director, State Regulatory and External Affairs, CTIA-the Wireless Association

Joe Gillan, President, Gillan and Associates

Roy Lathrop, Senior Director, State Government Affairs, NCTA-The Internet and Television Association

Arthur Martinez, Vice President of State Govt. Relations, CenturyLink

Responders:        

Hon. Travis Kavulla, Montana 

Hon. Sarah Freeman, Indiana 

10:30 a.m - 11:30 a.m.

On the Ground & On the Horizon: How to Bring Broadband to Remote America

Millions of Americans still lack access to broadband service, and millions more only have access to speeds that are below the FCC definition of broadband and doesn’t meet their needs. New and innovative technologies and methods are needed to bring these essential broadband services to rural communities. This panel will hear from experts who are doing just that—finding new ways to meet the needs of rural communitiesfrom harnessing TV whitespaces for wireless connectivity to innovative programs to connect unserved communities with carriers willing to deploy robust networks.

 

Moderator: Hon. Crystal Rhoades, Nebraska

Panelists: 

Ryan Harkin, Microsoft

Christopher Murphy, Viasat

Mike Romano, Senior Vice President, Industry Affairs & Business Development, NTCA

11:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. Business Meeting

Tuesday, November 14

8:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.
Location: Holiday Ballroom
8:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

Mother Nature The Ultimate Disrupter!

The utilities industry has been facing disruptors coming from within the industry for many years now. We have talked about new business models and ways to increase demand and create new customers/revenue streams, but are we prepared for the disruptions to the industry from a force indifferent to the very existence of the industry? Recently, three major hurricanes have had severe impacts on the energy, water, gas, and telecommunications sectors. Some areas with total destruction are looking at starting from scratch. This session will feature a Regulator, Consumer Advocate and high level representatives from the electricity, gas, water, and telecommunications industries.

During this timely session, attendees will:

  • Understand how utilities were prepared for this kind of disruption.
  • Learn how utilities will change their preparation for future natural disasters.
  • Identify the role of the regulator in these circumstances—before, during, and after.
  • Discuss expectations of consumers.

Moderator: Hon. Ron Brise, Florida

Participants:

Hon. Jeremy Oden, Alabama

Stephanie Brand, Director, NJ Division of Rate Counsel

Calvin Butler,Jr., CEO, Baltimore Gas & Electric

Joy Ditto, President and CEO, Utilities Technology Council

Christopher Franklin, President and CEO, Aqua America and NAWC Chairman

Pierce Norton, CEO of OneGas and AGA Board chairman

 

Remarks by:

M. Granger Morganthe Hamerschlag University Professor of Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.  He holds appointments in three academic units: the Department of Engineering and Public Policy; the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; and the H. John Heinz III College. 

He currently chairs the Committee on Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation’s Electric Power Transmission and Distribution System. 

Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation's Electricity System

 

9:30 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. Networking Break : Holiday Foyer
9:45 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

Mother Nature The Ultimate Disrupter! Continued

(See the description above.)

Location: Key 6
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. A2

Is A Cyber 9/11 In Our Future?

In August, the President’s National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC) unanimously approved a 45-page report that found the federal government and the private sector are “falling short” in protecting critical systems. The report also states that the nation faces “a pre-9/11-level cyber moment, with a narrow and fleeting window of opportunity to coordinate our resources effectively.”

Attendees will:

  • Receive an overview of the NIAC report and its specific 11 recommendations to address vulnerabilities.
  • Hear experts discuss their reactions to the report.
  • Learn what actions are being taken to secure critical infrastructure networks from cyberattacks.

View/download the text of the report (a PDF).

Moderator: Hon. Gladys Brown, Pennsylvania

Participants:

Caitlin Durkovich, Leadership, Toffler Associates

Robert H. Mayer, Senior Vice President – Cybersecurity, USTelecom Association

Nick Santillo, Jr.,VP Internal Audit & Chief Security Officer, American Water

Location: Key 2
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. A3

Weathering the Storm: Communications Network Resilience

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Superstorm Sandy, and the Derecho taught us many lessons. Changes in response time, resilience measures to the network, and mutual assistance procedures were just a few measures examined in some regions.  During this session, regulators will discuss how measures implemented from previous experiences impacted recent restoration efforts and timelines and what lessons were learned this time around.  

 

Moderator: Hon. Julie Brown, Florida

Participants:

Hon. John Clendenin, Virgin Islands

Hon. Mary-Anna Holden, New Jersey

Hon. Gregg Sayre, New York

Hon. DeAnn Walker, Texas

Hon. Stan Wise, Georgia

Location: Key 6
1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. B2

Frenemies and Free Riders

Who doesn’t want a free ride? Utility poles are in place but are they available to anyone? A recommendation from the Federal Communications Commission’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC) on pole attachments is expected in early November. This report will likely include major changes to the rules governing pole attachments, conduits, and rights-of-way. The report may also suggest pre-emption of State and local authority.

Attendees will:

  • Become better informed about the recommendations of the BDAC.
  • Hear reactions to the realities on pole attachments and the BDAC’s recommendations from the panel of experts representing telecommunications and electricity providers, regulators, and local governments.

Moderator: Hon. Michael Caron, Connecticut

Participants:

Hon. Wendy Moser, Colorado

Hon. Karen Charles Peterson, Massachusetts

Allen Bell, Support Manager, Georgia Power

David Don, Vice President, Regulatory Policy, Comcast NBCUniversal

Mitsuko Herrera, Dept. of Technology Services, Montgomery County, Maryland

 

Session Materials:

Guide to Public Hearings for Antenna Attachments to Utility Poles

Motion to Take Administrative Notice (Fairfield CT SC5)

 

Wednesday, November 15

10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Location: Holiday Ballroom
10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Happy First Anniversary! and NARUC Business Meeting

The General Session will begin with the NARUC Annual Business Meeting. Commissioners are requested to take seats in the front of the meeting room. 

The U.S. House of Representatives has designated the third Wednesday in November as Utility Scam Awareness Day. This year, we recognize it on November 15. Today, or on any given day, utility customers are receiving calls from people falsely asserting they represent a utility company. Callers are threatening to disconnect electric, water, or gas service, if immediate payment isn’t made. These villains target vulnerable populations, including senior citizens and non-native English speakers. They use sophisticated tactics, including caller identification spoofing technology and recordings of the utility company’s telephone menu messages. Utilities United against Scams (UUAS) is comprised of more than 100 (and growing) electric, water, and gas utilities, along with their respective trade associations in North America. The aim of UUAS is to educate customers about scam tactics in the hopes of ultimately putting an end to these types of crimes.

Attendees will:

  • Learn how these scams have a negative financial, fear-inducing effect of fraud on utility customers.
  • Learn the vital role that regulators play in working with utilities to protect consumers from scams.
  • Learn the types of phone, in-person, and Internet scams utility customers are currently experiencing.
  • Learn tips to share with constituents/consumers to avoid falling for utility impostor scams.
  • Explore solutions adapted for websites, social media, and in-person outreach events/town halls.
  • Hear about steps utilities and their partners have taken to educate consumers on these scams.

Moderator: Hon. Jack Betkoski, NARUC President, Connecticut

Participants:

Bryan Batson, SVP, Southern Operations, Southern Company Gas

Sheri Givens, Author,  Consumer Scam Awareness Guide & Executive Director, Utilities United Against Scams 

Kristin Keckeisen, Director, AARP Campaigns

Elin Swanson Katz, Consumer Counsel, State of Connecticut

Maureen Westbrook, VP Customer & Regulatory, Connecticut Water Company

Session Materials

AARP's Fraud Watch Network