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COALITION TO KEEP AMERICA CONNECTED AND WASHINGTON UPDATE

COALITION TO KEEP AMERICA CONNECTED AND WASHINGTON UPDATE

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COALITION TO KEEP AMERICA CONNECTED AND WASHINGTON UPDATE

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  1. COALITION TO KEEP AMERICA CONNECTEDANDWASHINGTON UPDATE Organization for the Promotion and Advancement of Small Telecommunications Companies www.opastco.org Stuart Polikoff, Dir. of Gov’t Relations ITA 110TH ANNUAL CONVENTION November 6, 2006

  2. Coalition to Keep America Connected Grassroots activities DC activities Telecom legislation timeline Rural Alliance and the Missoula Plan for Intercarrier Compensation Reform Joint Board Public Notice on using auctions to determine universal service support OVERVIEW

  3. October 2005: Coalition formed by OPASTCO and three other rural trade associations PURPOSE: To serve as a collective voice for rural consumers as Congress considers a rewrite of the Telecom Act MISSION STATEMENT: Ensure that all consumers have access to affordable telecommunications and the latesttechnologies, no matter where they live Coalition to Keep America Connected

  4. Keep Iowa Connected campaign is the template for the Coalition’s grassroots activities Thousands of letters to legislators Table at State Fair Letters and articles in local papers Meetings with legislators Development of 30-second commercial Success is infectious – Nebraska is following your lead Coalition to Keep America ConnectedGrassroots Activities

  5. Keep the momentum going! Visit www.keepamericaconnected.org and get involved! Grassroots communications tool kit Subscriber testimonial Financial support Coalition to Keep America ConnectedGrassroots Activities

  6. Testifying on Capitol Hill 2/15: Congressional Rural Caucus on the value of USF 2/28: Senate Commerce Committee on USF contributions 3/2: Senate Commerce Committee on USF distributions 3/9: House Small Business Committee Democrats’ Roundtable on telecommunications policies 5/3: House Small Business Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform and Oversight on universal service reform 5/18: Senate Commerce Committee on S. 2686 – the Senate telecom bill 6/13: Senate Commerce Committee on S. 2686 – the Senate telecom bill Coalition to Keep America Connected DC Activities

  7. Research Papers “Ten Myths That Could Destroy Universal Service” by Dr. Dale Lehman “Universal Service Fund: Defining Problems and Identifying Constructive Solutions” by Balhoff & Rowe “Achieving Universal Service: Work in Progress” by Kathy Wallman Coalition to Keep America Connected DC Activities

  8. Rapid Response to Anti-USF Media Newsweek Dallas Morning News St. Louis Post-Dispatch L.A. Times Chicago Tribune Forbes New York Times Coalition to Keep America Connected DC Activities

  9. Advertising Roll Call The Hill Communications Daily Coalition to Keep America Connected DC Activities

  10. DVD –“You Can Tell the USF Story” Audience: Employees, customers, local leaders Emphasis: The importance of USF in promoting education, healthcare, and economic development and how the Fund is being threatened Call to action: Asks viewers to contact their members of Congress Download at www.keepamericaconnected.org Coalition to Keep America Connected DC Activities

  11. Recruitment of Non-Telecom Organizations Association of Educational Service Agencies, VA The Center for Rural Affairs, NE Mississippi Automobile Dealers Association, MS National Association of Developmental Organizations, DC National Cooperative Business Association, DC National Farmers Union, DC The National Grange, DC National Rural Education Advocacy Coalition, OK National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, VA National Rural Health Association, MO New Mexico Automobile Dealers Association, NM Oklahoma Automobile Dealers Association, OK Oregon Farm Bureau, OR South Dakota Automobile Dealers Association, SD Coalition to Keep America Connected DC Activities

  12. Early June: House telecom reform bill passes the House of Representatives Bill focuses primarily on video franchising, E911 No USF language Late July: Senate telecom reform bill passes the Senate Commerce Committee Senate bill more comprehensive than House bill Includes USF language Sen. Wyden (D, OR) places hold on bill, keeping it from reaching Senate floor Believes net neutrality language is inadequate Telecom Legislation Timeline

  13. Late September: Congress recesses for election campaigning Mid November: Senate returns for “lame duck” session Unlikely that telecom bill will be addressed Election results will dictate what happens in lame duck session and prospects for legislation next year Telecom Legislation Timeline

  14. Open FCC proceeding on reforming intercarrier compensation rules Rural Alliance presents a unified voice for rural ILECs and their customers on intercarrier compensation reform OPASTCO is a member of the Alliance with an advisory seat on its Steering Committee Visit www.rural-alliance.org and get involved! Intercarrier Compensation Rural Alliance

  15. July 2006: Missoula Plan filed with FCC Supporters come from all sectors of the industry Rural Alliance a major player in the negotiations Key rural provisions of Plan: “Multi-Track” approach Restructure Mechanism enables full recovery of lost intercarrier revenues Unifies rural RoR ILECs’ inter- and intrastate access charges at interstate cost-based rates Limits obligations of rural ILECs to pay for transport beyond their networks Intercarrier Compensation Missoula Plan

  16. October 25: Comments on Plan filed with FCC Rural Alliance filed joint comments with other Missoula Plan supporters Rural ILEC filing prepared by Rural Alliance had close to 600 signatories OPASTCO filed its own comments supporting Plan The Rural Alliance’s work is far from over Intercarrier Compensation Missoula Plan

  17. August 11: Joint Board releases Public Notice seeking comment on reverse auctions for determining recipients of support and support amounts Public Notice part of larger proceeding to determine appropriate rural support mechanism to follow Rural Task Force Order October 10: Comments filed. Majority of commenters unsupportive of auctions and express concerns about unintended consequences Universal Service Joint Board Auctions Public Notice

  18. OPASTCO comments: The high-cost support mechanism for rural ILECs, based on embedded costs, has been highly successful Auctions pose significant risks to the continued availability of affordable, high-quality services to rural consumers Reforms intended to address the unnecessary growth in the rural High-Cost program should target the source of the problem: Competitive ETCs and the identical support rule Universal Service Joint Board Auctions Public Notice

  19. OPASTCO (202) 659-5990 www.opastco.org John Rose, President jnr@opastco.org Stuart Polikoff, Director of Government Relations sep@opastco.org Randy Tyree, Director of Legislative and Industry Affairs rxt@opastco.org Steve Pastorkovich, Business Development Director / Senior Policy Analyst sfp@opastco.org Brian Ford, Policy Analyst bjf@opastco.org THE END! CONTACTS