Committee on Telecommunications

This agenda is subject to change.


Monday, February 12

9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. 
Location: Ballroom Central

Joint with Committees on Consumers and the Public Interest, Electricity, Energy Resources and the Environment, Gas, Telecom, and Water: General Session

9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. 

Thirst for Power: Energy, Water and Human Survival

Michael Webber, author of Thirst for Power: Energy, Water and Human Survival, will sit down with NARUC President John Betkoski III, Hon. Mary- Anna Holden, Chair of the Committee on Water and Hon. Judy Jagdmann, Chair of the Committee on Electricity, for an insightful discussion of the water-energy nexus.  Dr. Webber is the deputy director of the Energy Institute, co-director of the Clean Energy Incubator at the Austin Technology Incubator, and associate professor of mechanical engineering and Josey Centennial Fellow in Energy Resources at the University of Texas.

Committee on Telecommunications

10:45 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Location: Renaissance East
10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

What Regulators Need to Hear

Communications service providers are in the midst of profound changes driven by the inexorable forces of the market, technology and consumer preference. These changes have enormous implications for customers in both rural and urban settings, and create challenges for companies in the wireline, wireless and cable industries. It is important that State regulators hear the fundamental dynamics that are disrupting business as usual. The introduction of new players and rapidly advancing technologies on the global level challenge many of the legacy policy constructs that have been in place for more than 80 years, and the impact of regulation on investment and broadband deployment must be understood if we are to be successful in delivering promises of new technology and competition. You will hear three senior executives representing the largest trade associations engage in a discussion about how the public interest can best be served during these transitions. 

Moderator:  Hon. Paul Kjellander, Idaho


Hon. Gregg Sayre, New York

Hon. Tim Schram, Nebraska 


Jon Banks, Senior Vice President Law & Policy, USTelecom

Scott Bergmann, Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, CTIA

Rick Chessen, Senior Vice President, Legal and Regulatory Affairs and Chief Legal Officer, NTCA


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

Joint with Committee on Consumers and the Public Interest

Lifeline Changes Where Do We Go From Here?

With the recent FCC actions, where do we go from here and how are consumers affected?  Will there be a competitive environment or will the schism of haves and have nots continue to grow in the low income information divide?

Moderator:  Hon. Maida Coleman, Missouri


Claude Aiken, Wireline Legal Adviser to Commissioner Clyburn, FCC

M. Teresa Hopkins, Executive Director, Navajo Nation Telecommunication Regulatory Commission

Mark Rubin, Sr. Executive for Government Affairs, Tracfone

Elin Swanson Katz, Presidet, National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates and Consumer Counsel, Connecticut Office of Consumer Counsel

Joseph K. Witmer, Assistant Counsel, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission                    

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


Wall Street Analysis

What is the future of Telecommunications in the coming market shifts and technological changes? Who are the winners or losers? Will the markets move advancement of Telecommunications and Broadband for all investors?

Moderator:  Hon. Sarah Freeman, Indiana


Jennifer Fritzsche, Managing Director, Wells Fargo

Tim Horan, Managing Director, Communications and Cloud Equity Research

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

3:45 p.m. - 4:00p.m.

Networking Break

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

Local Number Portability Administrator (LNPA) Transition: What Commissioners and Consumers Need to Know

Beginning in April, the systems that make up the national number portability database that serves the United States will be transitioned from Neustar to iconectiv. This is a large systems transition for which carriers and vendors are in the midst of preparing. Regiona migrations are scheduled to occur between April 8 and May 20, 2018. What do Commissioners need to know to be prepared for the transition? When will the transition take place for each State? What resources are available if Commissioners or consumers have questions? Finally, what plans are in place to address transition issues, if or when they arise?

Moderator: Hon. Wendy Moser, Colorado


Greg Chiasson, Transition Oversight Mngr., Price Waterhouse Cooper 

Jim Falvey, Partner, Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC. 

Teresa Patton, NAPM LLC Co Chair, AT&T

Bill Reidway, Vice President, Product Management, Neustar

Betty Sanders, Senior Director, Charter Communications 

Kathy Timko, LNPA Administrator, iconectiv

Tuesday, February 13

9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.

Joint with Committees on Consumers and the Public Interest, Electricity, Energy Resources and the Environment, Gas, Telecom, and Water: General Session

Location: Ballroom Central
9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. 

Welcome by NARUC President, Hon. Jack Betkoski.

Remarks by The Hon. Kevin J. McIntyre, Chairman, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 


Implications and Complications of Tax Reform 

Moderator: Hon. Sadzi Oliva, Illinois


Hon. Tom Forese, Arizona

Ryan Wobbrock, Vice President - Senior Analyst, Moody's Investors Service

Danny Kermode, Assistant Director for Water and Transportation, Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission

Marty Kropelnicki, President and Chief Executive Officer, California Water Service Group


Reading Materials:

Regulated Utilities – U.S. Tax Reform is Credit Negative for Sector, but Impact Varies by Company (January 24, 2018)

Rating Action: Moody's Changes Outlooks on 25 U.S. Regulated Utilities Primarily Impacted by Tax Reform (January 19, 2018)

Tax Reform – U.S. Corporate Tax Cut is Credit Positive, while Effects of Other Provisions Vary by Sector (December 21, 2017)

Utilities – U.S. Tax Reform Likely to Increase Credit Risk, Impact Dependent Regulatory Response (March 15, 2017)


Committee on Telecommunications

10:45 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Location: Renaissance East
10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Business Meeting

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

“What am I bid for it?” The CAF II Auction – A Step Forward or Unmet Expectations

The FCC's 2011 Transformation Order provided multiple avenues for solving the dire need to expand broadband activity. One of those steps, the Connect America Fund II Auction, has yet to be held, which raises the obvious question: "Has broadband buildout been delayed over the past six years in anticipation of the auction?" We will explore this question, hear from the FCC on the current status of the auction plan, learn how current telecom providers and new entrants are viewing the auction, and their thoughts on participation.  

Moderator: Hon. Chris Nelson, South Dakota


Steve Coran, DC Legal Counsel, Wireless Internet Service Providers Association

Chelsea Fallon, Director of the FCC's Rural Broadband Auction Task Force (RBATF)

Bob Hance, President/CEO of Midwest Energy & Communications in Michigan

Carol Mattey, Mattey Consulting LLC

Mike Romano, Senior Vice President of Policy, NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association

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

Networking Break

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

FCC and Congressional Updates from a Journalist's Perspective

Current telecommunications events from a journalistic perspective. What is happening and what will the FCC/Legislation be going into 2018 and beyond?

Moderator: Jonathon Make, Exectutive Editor, Communications Daily 


Brian Fung,  Senior Editor, The Washington Post 

David Kaut, Senior Editor, Communications Daily

David Shepardson, Correspondent, Reuters

Lynn Stanton, Senior Editor for Wolters Kluwer's Telecommunications Reports and TR Daily                     

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

Spectrum – Why Do We Care?

Spectrum policy is not within the jurisdiction of State Commissions.  However, with 5G Technology rapidly becoming the focus there is a rush for spectrum and the number of players are expanding.  So while states don't control the allocation of spectrum space, the implications of how it is distributed can have huge impacts on the deployment of technologies that can positively impact consumers.  This panel will explore some of the impacts that we at the state level should be aware of as spectrum decisions occur.

Moderator:  Hon. Sarah Hofman, Vermont


Jill Canfield, Vice President of Legal & Industry, Assistant General Counsel, NTCA - The Rural Broadband Association

David Don, VP, Regulatory Policy Public Affairs, Comcast

Brian O'Hara, Senior Director Regulatory Issues, NRECA

Christopher Wieczorek, Director, Spectrum Policy, T-Mobile                     

Wednesday, February 14 

9:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. 

Joint with Committees on Consumers and the Public Interest, Electricity, Energy Resources and the Environment, Gas, Telecom, and Water: General Session

Location: Ballroom Central

Remarks by U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, Alaska


Remarks by The Hon. Mignon Clyburn, Federal Communications Commission


The Great Debate: All of the Above? 

Sometimes adversarial, occasionally cooperative, and always dynamic, the relationship between the electric industry’s leading trade association and the nation’s foremost environmental advocates has again been tested in recent years. In their fourth appearance before NARUC’s general session, representatives of the Edison Electric Institute and the Natural Resources Defense Council return to a topic at the center of their first debate, in 2002: the appropriate role for utility regulators in guiding the selection of the resources we use to generate electricity.

Making a debut appearance for EEI is Phil Moeller, executive vice president for the association and a former FERC commission. For NRDC, an old hand makes a return to NARUC’s main stage: Ralph Cavanagh, the co-director of the organization’s energy program.

Taking the affirmative and negative sides, respectively, they will debate the following proposition:

Resolved: As a guiding principle for oversight of utilities’ planning and investment, NARUC’s membership should embrace an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy.

Moderator: Hon. Travis Kavulla, Montana

Panelists: Ralph Cavanagh, NRDC 

                  Phil Moeller, EEI

  Concluding Remarks by NARUC President, The Hon. Jack Betkoski