Committee on Consumer Affairs
Committee on Critical Infrastructure
Committee on Electricity
Committee on Energy Resources and Environment
Committee on Gas
Committee on International Relations
Committee on Telecommunications
Committee on Water
Subcommittee on Education and Research
Subcommittee on Supplier and Workforce Diversity
Staff Subcommittee on Consumer Affairs
Staff Subcommittee on Critical Infrastructure
Staff Subcommittee on Electricity
Staff Subcommittee on Electric Reliability
Staff Subcommittee on Energy Resources and the Environment
Staff Subcommittee on Executive Management
Staff Subcommittee on Gas
Staff Subcommittee on Law
Staff Subcommittee on Telecommunications
Task Force on Innovation
Task Force on Military Workforce Development
Task Force on Natural Gas Access and Expansion
Education and Research
Energy Resources and the Environment
Military Workforce Development
Natural Gas Access and Expansion
Supplier and Workforce Diversity
This agenda is subject to change.
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
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|
|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.||
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|
|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
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
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 communities—from 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
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|
|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:
Moderator: Hon. Ron Brise, Florida
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
M. Granger Morgan, the 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.
|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.)
|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.”
View/download the text of the report (a PDF).
Moderator: Hon. Gladys Brown, Pennsylvania
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
|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
Hon. John Clendenin, Virgin Islands
Hon. Mary-Anna Holden, New Jersey
Hon. Gregg Sayre, New York
Hon. DeAnn Walker, Texas
Hon. Stan Wise, Georgia
|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.
Moderator: Hon. Michael Caron, Connecticut
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
|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.
Moderator: Hon. Jack Betkoski, NARUC President, Connecticut
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