These programs cut across the energy and telecommunications regulatory landscape and are geared to ensuring that consumers are receiving the highest quality of service at fair, just and reasonable prices.
With Congress indicating its desire in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 to make the transmission grid "smarter," NARUC and FERC launched this Collaborative to facilitate the transition to a smart electric grid. Many companies are promoting Smart-Grid technologies and this dialogue will help regulators understand what is being developed and how it will impact consumers.
NARUC and the Federal Communications Commission are involved in a working group designed to promote the Lifeline telephone assistance program. This program provides discounts on monthly phone rates to eligible consumers. Through the Lifeline working group (www.lifeline.gov), the FCC, State commissions, and NARUC are working to ensure that as many qualified customers are taking advantage of these services as possible.
The Joint Board, made up of Federal Communications Commission members, State utility regulators, and consumer advocates, oversees and makes recommendations on the universal provisions of the 1996 Telecommunications Act. The basic aim of Universal Service is to promote quality telecommunications services as just, reasonable, and affordable rates. It also aims to broaden the deployment of high-tech telecommunications services throughout the country, particularly in low-income, rural, and high-cost regions of the country.
Assuring reliable power at a fair price is a twin goal of federal and State regulators. This collaborative forum provides State and federal policymakers with a venue to discuss the best ways to meet the challenges of developing new and economical power supplies. This collaborative forum concluded its work and is no longer in existence.