Winter Policy Summit logo

February 10-13, 2019 • Renaissance Washington Hotel • Washington, D.C.

Winter Policy Summit logo

February 10-13, 2019
Renaissance Washington Hotel
Washington, D.C.

Staff Subcommittee on Telecommunications


9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. • Renaissance East

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

Telecom Staff Closed Session

12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.


1:30 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.

Broadband - Where's the Money?

The Congress, FCC, State Commissions, NTIA, RUS, State Broadband offices, Governor’s offices, and State Legislatures are all focused on solving the problem of the nation’s broadband gap. Literally, billions have been spent and billions more are available across the Federal, State and Local levels. What do state regulators need to know in order to work in with the policy makers and their programs to assemble a comprehensive strategy to achieve sustainable universal access to broadband?

Moderator:  Teresa Ferguson, Colorado


Carol Mattey, Principal, Mattey Consulting LLC

Sarah Tyree, Vice President, Policy and Public Affairs, CoBank

Brian O'Hara, Senior Director Regulatory Issues - Telecom & Broadband, NRECA

Joseph Gillan, Economist, Gillan Associates

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

Networking Break

3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Resolution Introduction & Industry Input

4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Telecom Jeopardy


9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. • Renaissance East

9:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

The 1996 Telecom Act is 23 Years Old – Is it Time for a New One?

23 years after the 1996 Telecom Act passed, where are we?  Has the Act outlived its usefulness?  Do we need a revision, an update, or something totally new?  This panel will discuss the legacy of the current Act and explore the key questions facing consumers, carriers, and commissions in 2019: How do we advance competition?  How can we advance broadband deployment and adoption?  Do we need a new universal service charter that will ensure that broadband deployment continues to be equitable across the country?  How do we make sure that consumers continue to receive the benefits of universal service, particularly in areas where federal funds have been used to advance or sustain deployment?

Moderator:  Sherry Lichtenberg, NRRI 


Hon. Mignon Clyburn, FCC Commissioner & Chairperson Emeritus

Gigi Sohn, Distinguished Fellow, Georgetown Law Institute for Technology Law & Policy & Benton Senior Fellow

Rick Cimerman, Vice President, External & State Affairs, NCTA

Russ Hanser, Partner, Wilkinson, Barker, Knauer

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

Lifeline Assistance: What Exactly does Modernization Mean?

For decades, the federal Lifeline Assistance program has offered a lifeline to qualifying low-income consumers to ensure they have basic phone service to connect to job opportunities, community emergency and health services, as well as family and friends.  As the program expanded to include wireless phones, public utility commissions across the country found renewed consumer interest in Lifeline.  Now, the program is being modernized to include broadband and streamline eligibility and recertification processes. Learn what modernization means for carriers, commissions, and most importantly, consumers.

Moderator: Phil Boyle, Consumer Services Manager, Oregon PUC


Michelle Garber, Vice President of Lifeline, USAC

Ryan B. Palmer, Division Chief, Telecommunications Access Policy Division, FCC

12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Lunch on Own

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

Telecom Service Quality & the Customer Experience

Over the decades new technologies, services, evolving markets and legislative and regulatory frameworks have influenced service quality and the customer experience in complicated ways. What channels do consumers have today to voice their telecom service concerns and is it working for them?  The panel participants will provide insight  and discuss various paths and approaches for identifying and addressing consumer concerns and share their ideas for how the states can help improve the customer experience.

Moderator:  Lynn Notarianni, Colorado 


Cynthia Walker, Communications Division Director, California PUC

Micah Caldwell, Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau, FCC

Michael Saperstein, Vice President, USTelecom

Bruce Kusnick, New Networks Institute


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

Final Resolutions and Disposition