Universal Service Symposium
Date(s): November 2, 2017: 9:00am-4:00pm
Thursday, November 2, 2017
9:15 - 10:30 am: E-Rate Fiber: Risks and Opportunities
The FCC modernized its E-rate policies in 2014 to encourage greater build-out of fiber to rural schools and libraries. But the implementation of these policies has been fraught with difficulty, and over one-half of E-rate fiber applications requesting Special Construction Charges have been denied. This panel will help future E-rate fiber applicants understand what they need to do to receive funding.
- Moderator: Gina Space, Broadband Legal Strategies
- Russell Neal, VST Services
- John Versaggi, Crown Castle
- Andy Eisley, E-rate Central
10:45 - Noon: Future Funding for Internal Connections
The 2014 E-rate Modernization Order made new funding available to improve wireless broadband connections in and around schools and libraries. Some schools and libraries have made some innovative choices to deploy wireless services on school buses and to residential users off-campus. This session will review the scope of these new opportunities and future funding prospects.
- Moderator: Kitty Conrad, ENA
- Ben Beinfeld, World Wide Technology
- Diane Driggers, Berkeley County School District, Goose Creek SC
- Marijke Visser, Office of Information Technology Policy, American Library Association
9:15 - 9:55 am: Assessing the Progress of the Lifeline Verifier
The FCC and USAC are in the process of establishing a National Verifier to protect the integrity of the Lifeline program. Six states have recently been chosen to participate in a "soft launch" of the Verifier process by December 5. This panel will provide a status update from the FCC and USAC staff on the National Verifier process.
- Allison Baker, FCC
- Allison Jones, FCC
- Michelle Garber, USAC
10:05 - 10:50 am: Minimum Standards
This session will discuss the minimum levels of service that Lifeline providers must provide in order to participate in the Lifeline program.
- Moderator: Carmen Scurato, National Hispanic Media Coalition
- Olivia Wein, National Consumer's Law Center
- Josh Guyan, Kelley Drye & Warren (on behalf of the Lifeline Connects Coalition)
11:15 - Noon: State Roles in Certifying Lifeline Broadband Providers
In 2016, the FCC decided that, in order to offer stand-alone broadband service through the Lifeline program, broadband providers need to become Eligible Telecommunications Carriers, which are traditionally designated by the states. This panel will review how states are handling the ETC process and the challenges faced by Lifeline Broadband Providers.
Stay tuned for more information about speakers
Moderator: Danielle Frappier, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
Michelle Garber, USAC
Sherry Lichtenberg, National Regulatory Research Institute (NRRI)
Cheryl Leanza, United Church of Christ
12:00 - 1:15 pm
Lunch & Keynote Address
Take a break from information-packed sessions for a bite to eat and hear insight from our plenary speaker. We will explore the future of the Universal Service Fund Program with a holistic discussion.
12:30 - 1:15 pm
The Future of Universal Service in a Broadband World
PLENARY SPEAKER: Mark Jamison (University of Florida) & Harold Feld (Public Knowledge)
Lunch will feature a moderated discussion with two thought-leaders who will discuss the future of the country's Universal Service policies for broadband. Prof. Mark Jamison, Director and Gunter Professor, Public Utility Research Center at the University of Florida was a leading member of the Trump Transition team for communications and has written extensively about the value of the Universal Service Fund. Harold Feld, senior Vice President of Public Knowledge, is one of the nation's leading experts on the public interest rights and responsibilities of broadband providers.
1:30 - 4:10 pm
Rural Health Care Program Workshop
1:30 - 2:40 pm: Rural Health Care Funding Strategies
USAC has been improving the RHC application process, but obtaining funding has been challenging. Bross demand for RHC funding for FY 2016 and FY 2017 was far greater than the $400 M cap. These panelists will discuss future funding prospects for applicants in the RHC program.
- Moderator: Doug Bonner, Potomac Law Group
- Karen Lee, USAC
- Colin Underwood, Alaska Communications
- Dennis Byford, Integris Health
3:00 - 4:10 pm: Future of the Rural Healthcare Program
The RHC program is facing an uncertain future. Because of the sudden increase in demand and the pro rate reductions in funding for FY 2016, applicants are looking for guidance about how the program will operate in the future. There is some discussion of prioritizing rural applicants' needs, and this panel will explore these and other ideas for reforming the RHC program.
- Moderator: Jeff Mitchell, Lukas, Lafuria, Gutierrez & Sachs LLP
- Eric Brown, California Telehealth Network
- Dr. John Graham, UNC-CH Gillings School for Global Public Health, North Carolina Telehealth Network
- Gary Capistrant, American Telemedicine Association
Future of the Connect America Fund Workshop
1:30 - 2:40 pm: State Experience with Connect America Fund
This panel will explore what state governments are doing to advance broadband to consumers, businesses and anchor institutions, and how states view upcoming funding opportunities from the Connect America Fund.
- Moderator: Carol Mattey, Mattey Consulting LLC
- Sherry Lichtenberg, National Regulatory Research Institute (NRRI)
- Ed Donnelly, Massachusetts Broadband Institute
- Regina Matz, Legal Advisor to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC)
Jeffrey Nordhaus, Empire State Development
3:00 - 4:10 pm: Reverse Auctions - Industry Perspectives
This panel will give the various industry sectors an opportunity to voice their opinions about the upcoming reverse auctions. Representatives of the telecom, cable, wireless and electric industries will discuss the issues and opportunities that are offered by awarding future funding through reverse auctions.
- Moderator: Mike Wilson, CostQuest
- Ross Lieberman, American Cable Association
- Mike Romano, NTCA, The Rural Broadband Association
- Steve Coran, Lerman Senter PLLC (on behalf of WISPA)
- Rebekah Goodheart, Jenner & Block (on behalf of rural electric coops)