Universal Service Symposium

Date(s): November 2, 2017: 9:00am-4:00pm

Location: National Union Building, 918 F St NW, Washington, DC 20004


AgendaAccommodations 2017-11-02 9:00am 2017-11-02 4:00pm 15 Universal Service Symposium The Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition will convene Broadband4All: Universal Service Symposium on the future of anchor institutions and the Universal Service Fund (USF) on November 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. The Symposium is intended to help applicants, state and local government officials, and broadband service providers understand and anticipate upcoming changes in the E-rate, Rural Health Care, Lifeline, and Connect America Fund programs.  The Symposium will be divided into four Workshops (one on each of the four USF programs) and a keynote presentation over lunch. The policy landscape is quickly changing, and USF participants from across the country will discuss urgent broadband issues important to their communities. Speakers will include a mix of government officials, industry experts and anchor institutions.  The Symposium will provide valuable information about future funding strategies and about how program changes will impact communities around the country.   View the Broadband4All Agenda   Become a Sponsor Support digital equity by sponsoring SHLB's Broadband4All: Universal Service Symposium. The Symposium provides a one-of-a-kind opportunity to gain visibility with a wide array of broadband companies as well gives you unmatched access to engaged future customers. Sponsorship Levels SHLB Members receive 10% off of sponsorship packages Fill out the form below and e-mail any additional questions to eolson@shlb.org. We appreciate your support in improving anchor institution broadband.   Broadband4All Sponsorship Information   SPONSORS                 National Union Building, 918 F St NW, Washington, DC 20004 SHLB true Add to Calendar Register


Thursday, November 2, 2017

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9:15 am - Noon
E-rate Workshop

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
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9:15 am - Noon
Lifeline Workshop

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

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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.

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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
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1:30 - 4:10 pm
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)

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: Jim Stegeman, 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)

Stay tuned for more information about speakers


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