• Wed
    09
    May
    2018
    Fri
    11
    May
    2018
    2:00 pmWebinar

    Chris Witteman presentation

    Here is the link to the EU December 2017 report on implementation of the Broadband Cost Reduction Directive: https://berec.europa.eu/eng/document_register/subject_matter/berec/reports/7534-berec-report-on-the-implementation-of-the-broadband-cost-reduction-directive

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    The States, the FCC, other federal agencies, and industry are focused on bringing broadband to all Americans, regardless of where they live. The Connect America Fund, the Mobility Fund, loans and grants from the Rural Utilities Service, and various state initiatives are addressing the question of where broadband is available, and how that availability can be increased. The FCC and the states are mapping locations where service is and is not available in order to ensure that funds are deployed where they are most needed.

    This webinar will discuss State, Federal, and industry broadband initiatives, the status of broadband mapping at the State and Federal level, and how the Universal Service Fund is bringing broadband to unserved and underserved areas. It will answer the following key questions:

    • What is the current state of broadband availability? Are we making progress? Are there areas (or even individual states) where progress is accelerating – or lagging?
    • How have the CAF II and RLEC USF programs helped to increase availability? How can we best measure the progress of these programs?
    • What will companies serving hard to reach and underserved communities need in order to move the program forward? Are we doing a good job of determining where broadband is available? Where are we in the mapping process? How is the new FCC broadband map helping to determine service availability? What can the states do to assist?
    • What are the benefits and burdens of the current mapping choices/options? What are the risks/costs of getting mapping wrong?
    • How can we continue to increase broadband availability? Are partnerships the best way to move forward? How do we promote partnering? What has been the experience to date – successes and failures/lessons learned?
    • How is the mapping process working in other countries? What lessons can we learn from the European experience?

    Panelists:
    Danna Mackenzie, Executive Director, Minnesota Office of Broadband Development
    Michael Romano, Senior Vice President, Industry Affairs & Business Development, NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association
    Steven Rosenberg, Chief Data Officer, Wireline Competition Bureau, FCC
    Joe Tiernan, Competition Division, Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Cable
    Christopher Witteman, Broadband Mapping Researcher, California

    Moderator: Sherry Lichtenberg, Ph.D., NRRI

  • Wed
    13
    Jun
    2018
    2:00 pmWebinar

    Travis Kavulla presentation
    Sherry Lichtenberg & Kathryn Kline presentation

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    The FCC Restoring Internet Freedom Order was released in December 2017 and published in the Federal Register on February 22, 2018.  The Order redefines Broadband Internet Access Service (BIAS) as an information service, regulated under Title I of the Telecommunications Act, rescinding the Commission’s 2016 decision to oversee Internet service providers under Title II of the Act.

    Since then, 35 states have acted to protect net neutrality since the new rules were adopted.  Six states, Hawaii, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont, have addressed this change by issuing Executive Orders requiring companies wishing to contract with the State to confirm that they will meet the 2017 net neutrality requirements.   Overall, 29 states proposed legislation reinstating the net neutrality rules or requiring state contractors to abide by them.  Nine additional states initiated Resolutions supporting Net Neutrality principles.  This legislation passed in Washington and Oregon, with bills still pending in several other states.

    This webinar will provide an update on this important topic, including the types of bills that were introduced, privacy implications, FCC preemption of state laws, and other issues surrounding net neutrality.

    Participants:
    Jonathan Banks, Sr. VP, Law and Policy, USTA
    Rick Cimerman, Vice President, External and State Affairs, NCTA
    Timothy Karr, Sr. Director, Strategy and Communications, Free Press
    Elin Swanson Katz, President NASUCA and Consumer Counsel, Connecticut
    Hon. Travis Kavulla, Vice Chairman, Montana Public Service Commission
    Moderators:  Sherry Lichtenberg, Ph.D. & Kathryn Kline< NRRI

     

  • Wed
    11
    Jul
    2018
    2:00 pmWebinar

    Tom Stanton presentation
    Laris Dobriansky presentation
    Farrokh Rahimi presentation
    Jean Ann Ramey presentation

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    Laws, rules, and franchises sometimes interfere with microgrid operations that would otherwise be technically feasible, provide multiple utility system benefits, and be highly efficient and cost-effective. This project reviews technological and business-plan options for microgrids, from easiest to implement in the current legal and regulatory climates to options typically blocked by current laws, policies, and rules. Case study examples: (a) explore the types of state laws and rules that facilitate or hinder microgrid development; and, (b) describe both already-open and readily achievable pathways for enabling microgrids for the benefit of the utility system and community economic development.

    Presenters:
    Tom Stanton, Principal Researcher, NRRI
    Larisa Dobriansky, Chief Business & Regulatory Innovations Officer, General Microgrids
    Farrokh Rahimi, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Market Design and Consulting at Open Access Technology International, Inc. (OATI)
    Jean Ann Ramey, Executive Director, Climable
    Moderator: Hon. Commissioner Emeritus Lorraine H. Akiba, Hawaii

  • Sat
    14
    Jul
    2018
    3:00 PM MountainFairmont Scottsdale Princess, Scottsdale, AZ

    Ken Costello, Principal Researcher – Energy & Environment, NRRI
    The Challenges of Electric Power Resiliency for Decision-Makers

    The presumption among industry observers is that the resiliency of the U.S electric power sector is deficient. If industry spends additional monies on improving its resiliency, the benefits should outweigh the costs. In analyzing this common view, one needs to first define resiliency and then measure the benefit-cost ratio of enhancing it. Definitions of resiliency abound and its benefits are devoid of accurate quantification. Uncertainty of the benefits inevitably forces decision-makers to rely heavily on value judgments. It also makes strict cost-benefit tests less viable because of dubious results. Any analysis of resiliency, however defined, faces these limitations. Another challenge for decision-makers is designing a widely-used single metric for identifying a baseline level of resiliency, setting a standard, or quantifying the tradeoffs within a cost-benefit framework.


    Kathryn Kline, Senior Research Associate, NRRI
    Integrated Resource Planning: How Can We Approach Water IRPs as a Win-Win for Conservation and Efficiency?

    While Integrated Resource Planning has been a standard in the energy field for several decades, state commissions have not adapted this planning practice for wide-spread use in the water industry. Planning provides a win-win scenario where all parties benefit from deliberative process and increased regulatory certainty. How does the IRP process translate to water utilities, and how can state commission begin adopting elements of the IRP process for the benefit of consumers and utilities alike? This presentation will provide an overview of best practices for water IRPs, and provide some potential policy recommendations for states considering water IRPs for the first time.


    Dr. Sherry Lichtenberg, Principal Researcher – Telecommunications, NRRI
    State Universal Service Funds: An Update

    This presentation will review changes to state universal service funds as the federal USF moves from a “voice-centric” to a “broadband-centric” program. The presentation will address changes to state contribution methodology proposed or adopted in Maine, New Mexico, and Nebraska. It will also look at the ways in which the states are using USF funding to fill the gaps in broadband deployment

     

  • Wed
    12
    Sep
    2018
    2:00 pmWebinar

    Jeff Deason presentation Part 1 Part 2 Reference document
    Dr. Lesser presentation
    Keith Dennis presentation one and two
    Chris McGill presentation
    Ken Costello presentation

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    Electrification has emerged as a major topic of interest for regulators and policymakers.  Studies have indicated the potential for electrification to advance throughout the end-use energy sector in the years ahead.  This webinar will evaluate the evidence that supports electrification, with a focus on what immediate actions regulators and policymakers should pursue.  The panelists will address several questions, including:

    1. What problems would electrification rectify?
    2. How should regulators/policymakers view electrification at this time?
    3. How should they evaluate electrification from the perspective of the public interest?
    4. Why don’t we see more electrification happening today?
    5. What have studies concluded or found?
    6. What do we know today about the economic, environmental and other effects of electrification?  What evidence is there that electrification would be cost-beneficial to society?
    7. What should electric utilities do today?
    8. What actions, if any, should regulators/policymakers take to advance electrification?  What are the premises underlying each action?  What out-of-market actions would be justified?  Which actions seem most sensible today, given what we know?

    Moderator:  Ken Costello, NRRI
    Panelists:   
    Dr. Jonathan Lesser, President, Continental Economics, Inc.
    Jeff Deason, Program Manager in the Electricity Markets and Policy Group, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
    Chris McGill, Vice President of Energy Markets, Analysis and Standards, American Gas Association
    Keith Dennis, Senior Director, Strategic Initiatives, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association

  • Wed
    17
    Oct
    2018
    2:00 pmWebinar

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    This webinar will review the status of the buildout of broadband service to the country’s rural areas as a result of Connect America Funding.  It will provide updates on the way in which the fund has brought service to new areas and what to expect in the future.  Participants will also discuss the outcome of the recent CAF II reverse auction, including the work being done by large and small providers currently serving rural areas as well as non-traditional telecommunications providers like electric cooperatives and wireless internet service providers.

    Panelists:
    Randy Klindt, General Manager, OzarksGo
    Carol Mattey, Mattey Consulting
    Mike Romano, Sr. VP, Industry Affairs & Business Development, NTCA
    Michael Saperstein, Vice President, Law and Policy, USTelecom
    Moderator: Sherry Lichtenberg, Ph.D., NRRI

  • Thu
    08
    Nov
    2018
    2:00 pmWebinar

    Moderated by Tom Stanton, Principal Researcher, NRRI
    Panelists TBA

  • Wed
    12
    Dec
    2018
    2:00 pmWebinar

    Jon Wellinghoff presentation
    Johannes Pfeifenberger presentation
    Neil Millar presentation
    Sharon Segner presentation

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    Electric transmission planning is changing remarkably, in response to FERC initiatives intended to open competition in wholesale markets. A first major step was ensuring robust competition among electric generators and opening new opportunities for merchant generators. Gradually, those efforts have been augmented through changes intended to bring the benefits of competition to transmission itself, by inviting competition among builders and maintainers of transmission assets and enabling new merchant transmission developers. This Webinar explores some of the early examples that are demonstrating how transmission planning and procurement options are advancing into the new territories of merchant transmission development.

    Moderator: Tom Stanton, Principal Researcher, NRRI

    Presenters:
    Hon. Jon Wellinghoff, Commissioner Emeritus
    Johannes Pfeifenberger, The Brattle Group
    Neil Millar, CAISO
    Sharon Segner, Vice President, LSPower, developer of competitive transmission projects

  • Wed
    19
    Dec
    2018
  • Wed
    23
    Jan
    2019
    2:00 pmWebinar

    Moises Chavez presentation
    David Schultise & Sunil Pillai presentation

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    The Environmental Protection Agency has established National Secondary Drinking Water Regulations (NSDWRs) that establish non-mandatory water quality standards for 15 contaminants that can be found in drinking water. These secondary standards relate to aesthetic considerations of drinking water such as taste, color, and odor. While the EPA does not enforce these “secondary maximum contaminants levels”, these guidelines assist public water systems in managing their drinking water systems. Many PUCs come into contact with secondary contaminants, not as direct regulators, but through customer complaints. As conversations about the impacts of secondary contaminants on water service become more common, it is important to consider the role that Public Utility Commissions can play.

    This webinar will provide critical perspectives on secondary contaminants from several of the stakeholders involved in this issue. Topics include:

    • Impacts of water treatment and infrastructure on secondary contaminants
    • Models for PUC intervention and engagement
    • Cost recovery options for additional water treatment methods 

    Moderator:
    Hon. Jack W. Betkoski III, Vice Chairman, Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority

    Panelists: 
    David Montgomery Moore, Esq., Earth and Water Law Group
    Sunil Pillai, P.E., Water Quality Manager, Golden State Water Company
    David Schultise, Water Quality Engineer, Golden State Water Company
    Moises Chavez, Senior Regulatory Analyst, California Public Utilities Council
    Christine Maloni Hoover, Senior Assistant Consumer Counsel,  Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate

  • Fri
    25
    Jan
    2019
    Thu
    28
    Feb
    2019
  • Wed
    27
    Feb
    2019
    2:00 pmWebinar

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    The federal Lifeline program provides reduced cost telecommunications and broadband service to nearly 10 million households across the US, allowing them to participate in the digital economy, communicate with friends and family, and take advantage of support programs that can be accessed only online.  Program participants receive $9.25 per month in benefits from the federal Universal Service Fund, and, in 22 states, additional support from state Lifeline programs.  Changes to the Lifeline program initiated by the FCC in 2016, including limitations on the programs used to determine eligibility, proposed reductions in voice only support, the implementation of a new recertification program, and the initial rollout of the National Verifier have had significant effects on participants and the companies that provide this service.  This webinar will provide a report from the field on the impact of these changes and proposals for increasing the availability and success of the Lifeline program.

    Moderator: Sherry Lichtenberg, Ph.D., NRRI
    Participants: Hon. Crystal Rhoades, Commissioner, Nebraska PUC
    Olivia Wein, National Consumer Law Center
    Gina Jasman, Sr. Director, LifeLine Operations, TracFone Wireless, Inc., FCC
    Mike Ripperberger, Telecom Bureau Chief, New Mexico Public Regulation Commission

  • Wed
    13
    Mar
    2019
    2:00 pmWebinar

    Dr. Morgan and Mr. Dagle's presentation
    Link to the full report

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    At the request of Congress, the Department of Energy asked the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to organize a study to identify technologies, policies, and organizational strategies to increase the resilience and reliability of the U.S. electricity system.  The study committee was comprised of seventeen experts from across various sectors.  Over the course of a year and a half, the committee collected input from stakeholders in academia, government, and industry before authoring their final report, which was independently peer-reviewed.  The National Academies asked the committee to address technical, policy, and institutional factors that might affect how modern technology can be implemented to improve the resilience of the electric system; recommend strategies and priorities for how this might be achieved; and identify barriers to its implementation.  The committee’s final report “Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation’s Electricity System” was released by the National Academies Press in July 2017.  This webinar will summarize the findings and recommendations presented in this report, and features three members of the committee:

    Speakers
    Dr. M. Granger Morgan from Carnegie Mellon University and the chairman of the committee,
    Mr. Jeff Dagle, an expert in electricity resilience from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory,
    Moderator: Carl Pechman, Ph.D., Director, NRRI

  • Wed
    10
    Apr
    2019
    2:00 pmWebinar

    Moderated by Tom Stanton, Principal Researcher, NRRI
    Panelists TBA

  • Wed
    08
    May
    2019
    2:00 pmWebinar

    Moderated by Carl Pechman Ph.D., Director, NRRI
    Panelists TBA

  • Wed
    12
    Jun
    2019
    2:00 pmWebinar

    Panelists and moderator TBA

  • Wed
    10
    Jul
    2019