• Wed
    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?

    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
    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.

    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
    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.

    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
    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