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


Staff Subcommittee on Telecommunications

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


General Session

9:00-10:15 a.m. • Ballroom Central


Welcome Remarks: Hon. Nick Wagner, Iowa

EPA Update: Andrew Wheeler, Acting Administrator, US Environmental Protection Agency

Data and Analysis Initiatives: Dr. Linda Capuano, Administrator, US Energy Information Administration

The Journey to Self-Reliance and the Challenges of the Twenty First Century:  Brock Bierman, Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Europe and Eurasia, US Agency for International Development

Committee on Telecommunications

10:45 a.m.-5:00 p.m. • Renaissance East

10:45 a.m.- 11:45 a.m. 


The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has awarded Somos, Inc., the leading provider of neutral Toll-Free numbering and registry administration services for the telecommunications industry, the contracts to serve as the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA) and Pooling Administrator (PA) including the Routing Number Administrator (RNA).   SOMOS leadership will provide an overview of the completed transition plan for the NANPA and PA, as well as identify key information sources and contacts for NARUC members regarding NANPA, PA, and Toll-Free numbering administration.

Moderator:  Catherine Palcic, Manager, Strategic Industry Relations & Public Policy, SOMOS


John Manning, Sr. Director, Number Administration, SOMOS

Kim Miller, Senior Corporate Counsel, SOMOS

Mary Retka, Vice President, Industry Relations & Public Policy, SOMOS

Beth Sprague, Director, NANPA

Florence Weber, Director of Pooling Administration, SOMOS

1:30 p.m.- 2:30 p.m. 

The Latest From Wall Street

Research and Investment experts share their insight on the Telecom Industry today, as seen by the markets.

Moderator:  Hon. Paul Kjellander, Idaho


Frank Louthan, Managing Director, Telecom Equity Research, Raymond James

Jennifer Fritzche, Managing Director (Equities), Wells Fargo

David Herbert, Managing Director (Fixed Income), Wells Fargo

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

Crisis Event Response and Recovery Access (CERRA) Effort

Joint with the Committee on Critical Infrastructure

The capability for state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) authorities to safely, securely, and effectively control and coordinate the access of key response and recovery resources into an affected area during an emergency has been identified as a critical success factor in enabling overall community recovery. The management of access is particularly important during incidents that require significant population evacuations to ensure the coordination of public or private sector response and recovery assets, restoration of critical infrastructure and essential public services, and a safe and orderly return of community members to an affected area. To assist with the access and re-entry issue, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has developed the Crisis Event Response and Recovery Access (CERRA) Framework to support state and local efforts to enable the successful transit and access of critical response and recovery resources before, during, and after emergencies, regardless of incident size.

Moderator:  Hon. Johann Clendenin, USVI

Presenter: George Renteria, (Acting) Chief Emergency Services Section, Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency,  US Dep't of Homeland Security

3:45 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Networking Break
4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. General Session - Ballroom Central


General Session

9:00-10:15 a.m. • Ballroom Central

9:00-10:15 a.m.

Winter Welcome by Hon. Jason Stanek, Maryland


A Session with Stuart Rothenberg -

Senior Editor, Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales
Former Editor and Publisher, Rothenberg Political Report
Political Analyst/Contributor, Roll Call

*****************************and ****************************

Resilience and Investment in the Grid: Bruce J. Walker, Assistant Secretary, Office of Electricity, U.S. Department of Energy

Committee on Telecommunications

10:45 a.m.-5:00 p.m. • Renaissance East

10:45 a.m.- 11:45 a.m.

Business Meeting

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



Moderator:  Jonathan Make, Executive Director, Warren Communications News


Adam Bender, Associated Editor, Communications Daily

Carrie DeLeon, Senior Editor, Telecommunications Reports Daily

Kelcee Griffis, Senior Telecom Reporter, Law 360

Jon Reid Reporter – Tech & Telecom, Bloomberg Law, BNA

2:30 a.m.-2:45 p.m. Networking Break
2:45 a.m.- 3:45 p.m.


Broadband is the key to our nation’s economic future.  It is the difference maker for businesses all across the U.S., but finding effective and efficient means of deploying broadband throughout rural parts of America has proven to be a challenge.  The costs and complexities encountered in serving these communities has given rise to new and creative solutions to help bridge the broadband gap.  In some communities rural cooperative telecommunications and utility providers, along with public-power and municipal entities, started deploying their own fiber optic networks and high-capacity broadband services to their customers and beyond.  And in 2018, at the behest of the Mississippi Public Service Commission, an investor-owned utility partnered with a broadband provider to deploy fiber-optic assets in portions of rural Mississippi- an essential step toward enabling high-capacity broadband services in these communities.  This panel will explore the kinds of out of the box partnerships and policies that are helping to bridge the digital divide.  What programs and policies are working or showing signs of success, and what other new ways of thinking may be needed to ensure all Americans have access to reliable, quality broadband.

Moderator:  Hon. Brandon Presley, Mississippi


Mike Keyser,CEO, BARC Electric Cooperative

Elin Swanson Katz, Consumer Counsel, Office of Consumer Counsel

Mike Romano, Senior VP Policy, NTCA, The Rural Broadband Association 

Brett Kilbourne, General Counsel & VP Policy, Utilities Technology Council

3:45 p.m.- 4:00 p.m. Networking Break
4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Update From USAC

As the FCC's USF Administrator, USAC plays a critical role in the successful implementation of several USF programs.  USAC will address key milestones and activities for both the Lifeline and High Cost programs. Updates on the National Eligibility Verifier State and federal agency roll out and a discussion of the Lifeline program’s 2019 strategy for getting the remaining states in the National Verifier by the end of the year will be provided as well as ongoing engagements with stakeholders to increase program integrity and successful enrollment among rural and urban eligible consumers. USAC will also provide an update on the development and deployment of the Connect America Fund (CAF) map and how it can be used to illustrate the impact of Universal Service support to facilitate broadband expansion in rural America. This new map, which went live in late 2018, displays the locations where carriers that receive CAF funding have built out mass-market, high-speed Internet service.

Moderator:  Jessica Zufolo, USAC


Michelle Garber, Vice President - Lifeline, USAC

Edward Bliss, Director of Strategic Project Management, Enterprise Portfolion Management Office, USAC

Joelle Tessler, Senior Manager of Stakeholder Engagement & User Support - High Cost Program, USAC


General Session

9:00-11:45 a.m. • Ballroom Central

9:00 a.m.

The Hon. Lisa Murkowski, Senator, Alaska

    9:30 a.m.

    Critical Infrastructure Interdependencies:

    Sectors Intertwined Part 2

    Spurred by rapid digitalization and the extensive adoption of new technologies, our nation’s critical infrastructures are becoming increasingly interdependent. Electric utilities depend on water, gas, and telecommunications, and vice versa. A threat to one is a threat to all. Yet consumers’ expectations for uninterrupted service remains high. This session continues the dialogue we had last November in Orlando. Experts will dig deeper into the risks that interdependencies pose to resilient operations. They will also examine efforts underway to identify and implement collaborative solutions across critical infrastructure sectors. The role of regulation in utilities’ pursuit of innovative, cost-effective risk mitigation strategies will be highlighted.

    Facilitator: Hon. Gladys Brown, Pennsylvania


    • Colleen M. Arnold, Vice President/Deputy Chief Operating Officer, Aqua America, Inc.
    • Scott Carter, President, Spire Energy
    • Kathryn Condello, Senior Director, National Security / Emergency Preparedness, CenturyLink
    • Joy Ditto,  President & CEO, Utilities Technology Council
    • Suzanne Lemieux, Manager, Midstream and Industry Operations, American Petroleum Institute
    • Paul Stockton, Managing Director, Sonecon, LLC

    10:45 a.m.

    Remarks by FERC Chair, The Hon. Neil Chatterjee 

    11:15 a.m.

    Remarks by DOE Under Secretary of Energy, The Hon. Mark Menezes