Staff Subcommittee on Telecommunications

9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. • Republic (2nd Floor)

9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Closed Session

New Members Introduction

FCC Update

Legislative Update

NRRI Update

State Issues Roundtable

USAC Update

Planning for February

10:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. Networking Break
10:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Panel I:  Mapping

The FCC recently issued a Notice on the issue of mapping.  Some parties have provided suggestions for what they think can work and be accomplished in a short time period, hopefully to be used with the upcoming RuDOF proposal.  Panelists will address the mapping issues and solutions. 


Joe Tiernan, Massachusetts DTE


NASUCA, Invited

Cost-Quest, Invited

Ross Lieberman, Brian Hurley, Esq., American Cable Association,

Brent Legg, Connected Nation

Louis Peraertz, Vice President of Policy, Wireless Internet Service Providers Association

12:00 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. Lunch (on your own)
1:15 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Panel II:  Federal USF:  Contribution Reform 

The FCC has been urged for some time now to address the issue of supporting the federal USF.  Those calls have increased as the assessment on interstate telecommunications revenues has increased, now upwards of 20%.  The panelists will address the issue of funding the USF.   


Cary Hinton, DC Public Service Commission


Dr. Robert Loube, Vice President, Rolka Loube

Labros Pilalis, Pa. PUC, Joint Board Staff Member

Pamela Sherwood Hollick, Assistant General Counsel, CenturyLink

2:30 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.

Panel III:   State USFs:  Transformation and Change

Many states have telecommunications and, increasingly, broadband universal service programs focused on availability (is it there) and affordability (are consumers able to purchase it).  The panel will discuss current state USF programs and, as appropriate, their relationship to the federal USF based on cooperative federalism. 


Sherry Lichtenberg, NRRI


Ben Aron, CTIA

Mike Ripperger, New Mexico PRC

Tim Kunkleman, Director, Government Affairs, CenturyLink

Weldon Gray, CEO, Texas Statewide Telephone Cooperative, Inc.

3:45 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Networking Break
4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Resolutions: Introduction, Discussion and Input


Staff Subcommittee on Telecommunications

9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. • Texas D (4th Floor)

9:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Next NARUC: Staff Discussion

9:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

Current Issues in Cooperative Federalism

The FCC issued a Forbearance Order at Docket 18-141 addressing competitor access to legacy telephone networks although that decision is under appeal (including an appeal by the State of California).  The USDC Court of Appeals just issued their long-awaited Net Neutrality Order and overturned preemption of state authority over Basic Internet Access Service (BIAS).  The panelists will address federalism’s future given these recent decisions, explain their importance to the states, and address what the next likely steps will be. 


Renardo Hicks, Esq., General Counsel, PA PUC


Chris Van De Verg Esq., Van De Verg Law Office LLC

Christopher J. Wright, Esq., Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP

J. Bradford Ramsey, Esq., General Counsel, NARUC

Michael Saperstein, Esq., Patrick Halley, Esq., US Telecom

Sana Sheikh. Senior Corporate Counsel, Granite Communications, Inc.

Scott McCollough, Esq., Cousel, Irregulators

10:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Lifeline Database Demonstration

The FCC and USAC have been working on rolling out the Lifeline Database, a vehicle focused on addressing eligibility so as to reduce waste, fraud, and abuse.  At the July 2019 meeting in Indianapolis, the Consumers and the Public Interest (CPI) Committee conducted a Poverty Simulation, including how consumers access Lifeline although logistics precluded an in-depth demonstration of how the federal Lifeline Database will work.  This panel will discuss Lifeline developments and provide a live demonstration to the attendees showing how the Lifeline Database will operate in the real work in the states with help from the providers.   


Michelle Garber, USAC Lifeline Executive Vice President


Linnita Hosten, USAC

Gina Jasman, TracFone

Catherine Miller, USAC

Danielle Perry, TruConnect Communications

12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Lunch (on your own)
1:30 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.

Rural Broadband Auctions: from CAF-II to RDOF
This year in Docket 19-126, the FCC proposed to use a precedent-setting auction for the newly created Rural Development Opportunity Fund (RuDOF).  RuDOF will provide support so that voice and broadband services can be provided in high-cost areas of the nation from the current federal Universal Service Fund (USF).  Now that the formal Comment and Reply Comment period has closed, FCC staff will be examining the proceeding along with possible timelines for addressing the matter.  FCC staff will provide a brief overview explaining the relationship of this RuDOF to the reliance on auctions in general envisioned in the seminal Transformation Order of 2011, their experience with prior auctions, what issues arose in those auctions, what this auction seeks to do, and the timelines for addressing the issues raised in this proceeding compared to previous auctions. 


TBD/Joe Witmer, PA PUC                                 


Michael Janson, Director, Rural Broadband Auctions Taskforce, FCC

2:20 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.

Panel VII – RuDOF.  Issues in the Upcoming Auction

The FCC’s proposed Rural Development Opportunity Fund (RuDOF) filing period has closed.  The FCC will now decide how about $2.0B per year over the next 10 years will be provided to support broadband in high-cost areas using an auction format modeled on the recent 903 Auction.  This slightly longer panel contains a cross-section of possible bidders, using differing technologies, who will address the issues in this critical proceeding going forward, including their view on the best ways to make the auction work as intended. 


Joe Witmer, PA PUC


Mark Cooper/NASUCA, Director of Research, Consumer Federation of America (invited)

Joe Gillan, Gillan Consulting

Pamela Hollick, Esq., Assistant General Counsel, CenturyLink

David LaFuria, Esq., Lukas, LaFuria, Gutierrez & Sachs, LLP, US Cellular

Ross Lieberman, Esq., Brian Hurley, Esq., American Cable Association

Brian O’Hara, National Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives

Michael Saperstein, Esq., Patrick Halley, Esq., US Telecom

4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Resolutions - Staff Disposition


Committee on Telecommunications

9:00–11:45 a.m. • Texas D (4th Floor)

9:00 - 9:30 a.m.

Business Meeting

9:30 - 10:30 a.m.

Joint Panel with Critical Infrastructure

Lessons Learned From a Cyber Attack - What Companies and Regulators Need to Know

Cyber-attacks are on the rise and lack of cybersecurity poses one of the biggest economic threats of today. Companies, government agencies and municipalities are targeted on a daily basis and if they are not prepared they often suffer devastating results. A specific cyber-attack will be covered, as well as a discussion of other types of cyber-attacks and best practices. 


Hon. Michael Caron, Connecticut


Greg Lowe, President and CEO, Syringa Networks

Kathryn Condello, Senior Director National Security, CenturyLink

Craig Harber, Chief Technology Officer, Fidelis Cybersecurity

10:30 - 10:45 a.m.

Networking Break

10:45 - 11:45 a.m.

The Mozilla Decision: What's Next for States?


Hon. Sally Talberg, Michigan


Matthew Murchison, Partner, Latham & Watkins LLP

Brad Ramsay, General Counsel, NARUC