Committee on Telecommunications

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Monday, February 15, 2016

10:45 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Committee on Telecommunications
View Presentations 
Ballroom North
10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Native American Telecommunications and Energy Access
This panel will discuss access to and the development of improved communications and electrical services and infrastructure in Native American communities, focusing on tribal lands. Many States, the federal government, and tribes have identified Native Americans as among the most underserved communities for broadband access and basic communication services. On some Native American reservations, electricity, dial tone, and 9-1-1 communication services are not universally available. We will explore how NARUC, in consultation with Tribal authorities, States, the federal government, and other sectors, can address this universal service gap.

Moderator: Hon. Catherine Sandoval, California
Sidney Dietz, Navajo Tribal Utility Authority & PGE Regulatory Relations Director
Forest James, CEO, EnerTribe, Oregon, Member of the Smith River Tribe
Paul Romero, IS Director, The Yurok Tribe
Tracy Stanhoff, President, American Indian Chamber of Commerce California, Former Tribal Chair, Prairie Band of Potowatomi Nation, Kansas


1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.
Enabling Competition in a Broadband World
This panel will examine the question of how we can (or should) ensure competitive choice after the transition to a broadband network. The panel will focus on the ways in which the States, the FCC, and others can assess, measure, and increase competition for broadband service, particularly in areas where networks are being funded through government investment, including CAF funds, USF monies, and other methods. Finally, the panel will explore how to increase competition among these networks, particularly in rural areas, and will look at the question of whether incenting competition should continue to be a key goal of telecommunications policy.

Moderator: Sherry Lichtenberg, PhD, National Regulatory Research Institute
Hon. Crystal Rhoades, Nebraska
Jonathan Banks, Senior Vice President, Law and Policy, US Telecom Association
Harold Feld, Vice President, Public Knowledge
John Jones, Senior Vice President, Policy and Government Relations, CenturyLink
Angie Kronenberg, Chief Advocate and General Counsel, Incompass
Chris Murphy, Associate General Counsel, Regulatory Affairs, ViaSat


2:30 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.
The ‘96 Act Turns 20: What Has It Helped; What Has It Hurt?
The Telecommunications Act of 1996 was signed into law on February 8, 1996. It set up a new framework for competition including provisions dealing with resale, unbundled network elements, interconnection agreements subject to adoption and arbitration, reciprocal compensation, Customer Proprietary Network Information, universal service, regulatory forbearance, the promotion of advanced services, special restrictions on the Bell Operating Companies and many more. Twenty years down the road, the telecom world looks very different and the ‘96 Act certainly had something to do with how conditions developed. In this session, participants will discuss what worked, what didn’t, whether it’s currently helping or hindering competition, what are the burning issues in its interpretation, and how it could be improved.

Moderator: Hon. Gregg Sayre, New York
Hon. Elliott Elam, South Carolina
Nick Alexander, Associate General Counsel for Federal Affairs, Level 3
Jennie Chandra, Vice President Public Policy and Strategy, Windstream
Hank Hultquist, Vice President Federal Regulatory, AT&T
Olivia Wein, Staff Counsel, National Consumer Law Center


4:00 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.
Committee on Telecommunications Business Meeting

Hon. Chris Nelson, South Dakota, Chair
Hon. Paul Kjellander, Idaho, Co-Vice Chair
Hon. Catherine Sandoval, California, Co-Vice Chair



Tuesday, February 16, 2016

10:45 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Committee on Telecommunications
Ballroom North
10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
FCC Bureau Chiefs

Moderator: Hon. Catherine Sandoval, California
Matthew DelNero, Bureau Chief, FCC Wireline Competition Bureau
Travis LeBlanc, Bureau Chief, FCC Enforcement Bureau
Karen Peltz-Strauss, Deputy Bureau Chief, CGB
David G. Simpson, Rear Admiral (Ret.), USN, Bureau Chief, FCC Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau


1:15 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Lifeline and Coordinated Enrollment
Assuring limited resources are appropriately targeted to consumers in need is at the heart of the federal Lifeline program. This is especially true as the Federal Communications Commission looks to expand its support to broadband services. This panel will address the eligibility coordinated enrollments and provide best practices. Panelists will also discuss:
  • How to incent States to develop dependable means-tested processes to verify consumer Lifeline eligibility?
  • Does the FCC have the authority to utilize universal service funds to finance the development and implementation of Lifeline eligibility verification systems at the State level?
  • Should the FCC require standards or let the States decide?
Moderator: Hon. Ronald Brisé, Florida
Rick Boucher, Honorary Chairman, Internet Innovation Alliance
David Hostetter, Assistant Vice President - Public Policy, AT&T
Randolph May, President, The Free State Foundation
Mark Rubin, Senior Executive for Government Affairs, TracFone Wireless
Nicol Turner-Lee, PhD, Vice President and Chief Research & Policy Officer, Multicultural Media, Telecom & Internet Council


2:45 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Closed Session: Briefing on USAC Program Activities
JOINT MEETING with Telecommunications and Consumer Affairs Committee

The Telecommunications and Consumer Affairs Committee members and staff will convene a briefing hosted by Universal Service Administrative Company leadership for an update regarding the administration of all four Federal Universal Service fund program areas including contributions. This session is intended to elicit feedback from Commissioners and staff on USAC’s administration of these program areas. This briefing is for State Commissioners and staff only.

Moderator: Hon. Paul Kjellander, Idaho