Summer Policy Summit logo

July 21-24, 2019
JW Marriott Indianapolis
Indianapolis, Indiana



Staff Subcommittee on Telecommunications

9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. • Grand Ballroom 1 & 2

9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.


(Closed Session for State Commissioners and State Staff)

Joe Witmer, Pennsylvania, Acting Chairperson

Greg Doyle, Minnesota, Vice Chairperson

Brad Ramsay, NARUC Staff

Ken Mallory, NARUC Staff

Ashley Ingebrigtsen, NARUC Staff 

Sherry Lichtenberg, NRRI Staff  Lead

9:00 - 9:45

NARUC Update:  Regulatory and Legislative

Brad Ramsay and Ken Mallory 

9:45 - 10:00

NRRI: Current and Future Projects

Sherry Lichtenberg

10:00 - 10:15

Joint Boards Update


Sandy Reams, Joe Witmer

Universal Service

Labros Pilalus

10:15 - 10:30 Break

10:30 - 11:00

USAC Update

Michelle Garber 

11:00 - 11:30



11:30 - 12:00

Emerging Issues In The States

1:30-2:30 p.m.

Robocalling Wars - Chapter B (for Blocking)

As the industry moves toward wide-scale call authentication, the FCC for the first time permits default call blocking based on "any reasonable analytics, designed to identify unwanted calls."  How will this fundamental change ensure that the right calls are completed, that consumers can rely on a consistent implementation, will there be a cost to consumers and will  rural call completion suffer? These and other challenges to fixing the robocall problem will be discussed.


Robert McCausland, VP Regulatory & Government Affairs, West Telecom Services, LLC 

Dave Bergmann, NASUCA (invited)

2:30-2:45 p.m.

Networking Break

2:45-3:45 p.m.


3:45-4:00 p.m.

Next Steps to November

4:00-5:00 p.m. Resolutions (as needed)


Staff Subcommittee on Telecommunications

9:45 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

9:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m. • Participating in the Poverty Simulation • Grand Ballroom 6

12:30-5:00 p.m. • Participating in the Black Sky Exercise • Grand Ballroom 5


Committee on Telecommunications

10:45 a.m.-5:00 p.m. • Grand Ballroom 1 & 2

10:45-11:45 a.m.

Thinking Outside the Box - Part 2

In Part 1 at the Committee's February meeting, we heard how RLECs and rural electric cooperatives are using new technology and service opportunities to provide broadband to new locations throughout America. Today in Part 2 we will hear from other types of service providers who are utilizing their own new technologies to edge into providing service in rural and urban locations which have been left behind in broadband buildout. It's clear that no singular technology or type of company can fill every broadband gap throughout the country. It's going to take thinking outside of a lot of different boxes to solve this problem!


Hon. Chris Nelson, South Dakota


Claude Aiken, President & CEO, WISPA

Stacey Parker, Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, Comcast

Andrew Curley, Director of Government Relations, Midco

Jerry Whisenhunt, General Manager, Pine Telephone Company

1:30-2:30 p.m.

Huawei - Understanding the Intersection of the Trade War, Tradecraft, and the Telecommunications Network

Huawei equipment has been blacklisted. This panel will discuss the federal ban on Huawei equipment, cost of rip and replace, and the impact to the rural telecommunications networks. Join us as we discuss the motivation for the ban, the short and long term consequences to rural telecommunications networks, the US trade war with China, and what it will mean to consumers.


Hon. Crystal Rhoades, Nebraska


Claude Aiken, President & CEO, WISPA

Carri Bennet, General Counsel, Rural Wireless Association

David Bergmann, Assistant Consumers' Counsel, Office of the Ohio Consumers' Counsel

Andrew Lipman, Lipman, MORGAN, LEWIS & BOCKIUS, LLP, Legal Counsel for Huawei

2:45-3:00 p.m. Networking Break
2:45-3:45 p.m.

How the Networks of the Future Will Impact How We Live, Learn, Work and Play

5G wireless and 10G wired networks both promise to unleash a new era of broadband connectivity, service delivery and applications, with low latency and lightning fast speeds.  They enable smarter connected communities, better healthcare and education, virtual and augmented reality and more.  As these next-generation networks are deployed and the "Internet of Things" becomes a reality, how does policy keep up with tech innovation?  What steps are policy makers taking to incent deployment and break down barriers.  Hear the latest on State and federal activity including updates on efforts by Congress, the FCC and the States to promote faster broadband deployment while avoiding the creation of digital deserts.


Hon. Karen Charles Peterson, Massachusetts


Rick Cimerman, VP External & State Affairs, NCTA 

Ben Aron, Director, State Regulatory & External Affairs, CTIA

4:00-5:00 p.m.

Broadband Mapping - The What and the Why Today, and the How of Improving for the Future

A great deal of effort is being made to map broadband coverage across the United States, but so far the results have been mixed.  This panel will look at the challenges and opportunities in the mapping process, including answering these three questions:

1) What has been done and how accurately?

2) Why does correct mapping matter to consumers and States

3) How can we improve our mapping efforts?


Hon. Sarah Hofmann, Vermont


Corey Chase, Telecommunications Infrastructure Specialist, Vermont Department of Public Service

Lynn Follansbee, VP Policy & Advocacy, US Telecom

Steve Morris, VP and Deputy General Counsel NCTA – The Internet & Television Association


Committee on Telecommunications

10:45 a.m.-5:00 p.m. • Grand Ballroom 1 & 2

10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

CAF II Auction Results and the Upcoming RDOF Challenge

The FCC recently concluded its first widespread USF auction, awarding a relatively small tranche of approximately $150 million per year.  This initial auction, however, will soon be dwarfed by the FCC's "Rural Digital Opportunity Fund" auction, estimated at $2 billion per year and requiring minimum speeds of 25 Mbps/3 Mbps.  Moreover, while the CAF II Auction focused on areas that were largely unserved, it is expected that the RDOF Auction will also include areas served by price cap carriers that accepted over $9 billion in support of the past six years to deploy 10 Mbps/1 Mbps service.  This panel will provide an in-depth examination of the lessons learned from the CAF II Auction, as well as identify the new issues that will likely arise in the much larger, and more complicated RDOF auction system.  In addition, the panel will discuss implications for price cap ILECs that are overbuilt by the broadband networks of auction winners.


Hon. Dan Lipschultz, Minnesota


Carol Mattey, Mattey Consulting LLC.

Joe Gillan, GIllan Associates

1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Federalism and the Future of Telecommunications - What's Next for States

The state role with respect to universal service and telecommunications oversight continues to evolve.  There seems to be a growing recognition of the need to integrate or at least coordinate universal service and broadband programs and initiatives among the various federal agencies, but it is not clear that federal policy makers have yet recognized the efficiencies of greater state involvement and coordination with State programs seeking the same goal. At the same time, there are two appeals outstanding that have the potential to change the scope of state oversight pending now in the Courts – the FCC’s Internet Freedom Appeal and a pending request for Supreme Court review of a recent 8th Circuit decision, Charter v. Lange, expanding and arguably misapplying conflict preemption principles to bar state oversight of local phone services.  What do these cases and trends mean for state authority going forward? What does in mean if the Supreme Court does not grant certiorari to review the Charter decision?  What impact will a decision upholding the Internet Freedom decision have on State authority? What and where should State regulators focus their resources? This panel will offer some insight on  these and related questions on the ongoing role for state regulators.


Hon. Sarah Freeman, Indiana


Richard Berkley, Executive Director, New York's Utility Project

Brad Ramsay, General Counsel, NARUC

Michael Santorelli, Director, ACLP at New York Law School

Sana Sheikh, Senior Corporate Counsel, Granite Telecommunications

2:30 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. Networking Break
2:45 p.m. - 4:00 p.m Business Meeting