Reviews developments and recommends policy affecting technological developments, industry structure and member needs in federal and state regulatory matters.
Industry Committee Meeting
Convening of the Meeting – The joint meeting convened at approximately 11:30 a.m.
Anti-Trust Reminder – Committee members received both oral and written reminders of NTCA’s anti-trust policies and procedures.
Attendance – Roll was taken with the following Industry Committee members recorded as present: J. Gregory Sapp, J. Frederick Johnson, Levoy Knowles, Jason Dandridge, Philip M. Hayes, Dennis D. Lewis, Lonnie Pedersen, Dennis L. Bachman, Tom Conry, Richard Coit, Keith A. Larson, Denny Law, Robert R. Rozell, Ronald Strecker, Bruce H. Todd, David A. Fox, Don Jackson and Jean Thaxton.
Administrative Items – The committees agreed to dispense with the reading of the meeting notice, approved the agenda as presented, and approved their respective prior meeting minutes as presented.
Executive Session – The committees went into executive session to discuss recent meetings and conversations with federal policy officials tied to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) universal service transformation initiative.
Policy Discussion – Committee members engaged in lengthy discussions regarding the rural sectors’ ongoing response to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) universal service fund (USF) and intercarrier compensation system (ICC) transformation initiative. Committee members agreed the association should continue to apply pressure on policymakers through all available avenues to address concerns about uncertainty and undermining of prior investments arising out of the FCC’s modifications. Committee members also discussed how to position the association’s advocacy for 2013, focusing on a proactive agenda that seeks to establish more progressive and forward-looking policies that will enable and sustain broadband investment in rural areas; the committee discussed several specific initiatives that could form the underpinnings of that proactive agenda. The committees also discussed and provided policy guidance to NTCA’s advocacy staff on the subjects of call completion, Rural Utilities Service financing, wireless and spectrum initiatives, cyber security, employee benefits, and video programming. The committees also unanimously agreed to re-nominate Mr. Geoff Feiss, CEO of the Montana Telecommunications Association, for another term as the rural sector’s representative on the board of the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC).
Adjournment – The joint committee meeting formally adjourned at approximately 4:45 p.m.
Next Meeting – The next formal meeting of the committees will take place on February 3, 2013, during the NTCA/OPASTCO Rural Telecom Industry Meeting & Expo which will be held at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Lake Buena Vista (Orlando), Florida.
Convening of the Meeting – The joint meeting convened at approximately 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, February 12, 2012, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego, California.
Anti-Trust Reminder – Committee members were reminded to comply with NTCA's Anti-Trust policies and procedures.
Attendance – Roll was taken with the following recorded as present: Thomas McNeil, Mickey Sims, Charles Lee, Shannon Butler, Jonathan West, Joe Thompson, Mark Bahnson, Andrew Randol, Randy Houdek, David Crothers, Rhonda Goddard, Greg Aldridge, Tom Young, Geoff Feiss, Randy Morgan, Delbert Wilson, Christy Berger, Jason Hendricks, Keith Gabbard, and Jimmy Todd. The following were recorded as absent: Chris Bonner, Kevin Jacobsen, Carl Turnley, Kim Harber, and Lynn Pike.
Administrative Items – The committees agreed to dispense with the reading of the meeting notice, approved the agenda as presented, approved the minutes of the prior meeting, reviewed NTCA's anti-trust policies, and advanced a set of policy resolutions for consideration by the NTCA Resolutions Committee.
Election of Officers – David Crothers was reelected as chair and Kevin Jacobsen was reelected as vice chair. An executive committee consisting of Crothers, Jacobsen, Randy Houdek, and Shannon Butler was also reelected.
Policy Discussion – The committees spent considerable time discussing the status of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC's) universal service and intercarrier compensation reform initiatives. Staff outlined the multiple initiatives they have underway including: political and general advocacy initiatives with emphasis on NTCA's Congressional Strategic Plan; a review and discussion of NTCA's outreach initiatives that are designed to foster closer relationships with other entities and individuals that are concerned about the future of rural America; ongoing efforts tied to working with congressional offices to hold briefings and hearings designed to educate congressional staff and Members of Congress about our interests; and, next steps with regard to our congressional home district visits initiative and our swing states project. The discussion also focused on several other specific issues including: call completion, wireless and spectrum; cybersecurity, data retention, and privacy; health care and pensions; financing and appropriations; and, the Universal Service Lifeline and Linkup Program.
2012 Policy Resolutions – The committees debated and ultimately agreed to policy resolutions on the following topics:
Next Committee Meeting – The committees tentatively agreed to next meet jointly at NTCA's headquarters from 12:00 noon, Wednesday June 20, 2012 to 12:00 noon Thursday, June 21, 2012 at NTCA's Arlington, Virginia, headquarters.
Adjournment – The meeting adjourned at approximately 4:45 p.m.
JOINT INDUSTRY, WIRELESS & GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS COMMITTEES MEETING
Monday, September 26, 2011
Seattle Sheraton Hotel
ORDER OF BUSINESS Call to Order
Reading of Notice of Meeting
Approval of Agenda
Approval of Minutes
Old and New Business
The meeting commenced at approximately 11:30 a.m. with an informal lunch, followed by administrative matters including a formal call to order, waiving of a reading of the meeting notice, approval of the prior meeting's minutes, reading of the anti-trust statement and taking roll. With regard to the latter, those recorded as present included: Thomas McNeil, Charles Lee, Shannon Butler, Andrew Randol, Randy Houdek, David Crothers, Geoff Feiss, Randy Morgan, Delbert Wilson, Lynn Pike, Jonathan West, Joe Thompson, Chris Bonner, Rhonda Goddard, Greg Aldridge, Tom Young, Jason Hendricks, Keith Gabbard, and Kim Harber. Those recorded as absent included: Mickey Sims, Kevin Jacobsen, Mark Bahnson, Carl Turnley, Tom Hansen, and Bill Buchanan.
The committees engaged in a lengthy overview discussion of the universal service and intercarrier compensation reform initiative that is underway before the Federal Communications Commission. Staff provided an update regarding the many meetings that have been ongoing between the FCC and the industry. Staff also led the discussion regarding congressional letter campaigns that have been underway throughout the months since the prior committee meeting. It was noted that several congressional briefings have taken place or are scheduled for the near future. The discussion also focused on the negotiations that led to the evolution of the Consensus Frame work agreement between the rural sector and the midsize and large carrier sectors of the industry. The conversation included a review of a "to do" list of items to assist in moving the negotiations forward as well as debating key questions and follow-up items from several of the industry's more recent meetings with the FCC.
PR Campaign Discussion:
The committees engaged in a discussion focused on the "Save Rural Broadband" campaign and the many activities that have been underway in relation to that initiative. The conversation focused on the many tools that have been developed and provided to members and the public in an effort to educate people about the industry and the cost recovery mechanisms that are so essential to their ability to deploy and maintain advanced services. It was pointed out that the majority of these tools are available and outlined on the NTCA website. Staff also outlined the many initiatives they have been involved in that are tied to economic studies that show the impacts that would result from declining cost recovery availability. Finally, the committee was provided with an update regarding the association's ongoing strategic outreach initiative that is designed to educate and engage other rural oriented entities with regard to the rural telecommunications sector's issues and interests.
Other Industry Issues:
Long distance call termination was the focus of a lengthy discussion as committee members outlined how the issue has been impacting their operations and ultimately their customers. Staff also provided a detailed overview of the major privacy, cybersecurity, and data retention policy initiatives that are currently making their way through the legislative process, and the steps NTCA has been taking to ensure the respective bills are less burdensome to rural telcos. The committee was also provided with an update regarding the federal debt and how this is impacting the budget and appropriations processes. The two most direct impacts are the possibility that debt negotiators will continue to look at the USF as a source of revenue and that any across the board cuts could ultimately impact the RUS Telecommunications Loan program. Staff also updated the committees regarding wireless issues and regulatory proceedings that are under way in the respect as well as recent developments with rights-of-way, interconnection, and the USF low-income program.
Open Forum and Adjournment:
The joint committee held a brief open forum discussion prior to adjourning at approximately 4:30 p.m.