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NARUC Proposes Fourth Way

in FCC/Mobile Broadband/Net Neutrality/Smart Grid by

WASHINGTON July 7, 2010- National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) has just released a draft of its proposed resolutions for their summer meeting. The organization is proposing a fourth way of regulating broadband and would like the federal government to take a hands off approach to smart grid.

The organization will hold its summer meeting on July 18th in Sacramento, California.

This fourth way would have the states “managing front-line consumer education, protection and services programs; ensuring public safety; ensuring network service quality and reliability; collecting and mapping broadband service infrastructure and adoption data; designing and promoting broadband service availability and adoption programs; and implementing competitively neutral pole attachment, rights-of-way and tower siting rules and programs”. The federal government would then regulate such issues as network neutrality and other large scale issues.

In the realm of mobile phones, the organization has resolutions which lend support to the Federal Communications Commission’s investigation of Early Termination Fees and Bill Shock.

Additionally the organization would like the federal government to not impose specific regulations on smart grid. NARUC believes that smart grid technologies are still evolving and need time and space to develop.

“WHEREAS, Smart grid technologies are new, evolving, and currently expensive, and while they have much promise and potential, research into the costs and benefits of such technologies is not sufficiently advanced to support widespread adoption of such technology as a prerequisite to receiving energy assistance at this time;”

“RESOLVED, That NARUC urges any advanced meters and pricing options associated with smart grid technology be accompanied by considerable customer education so consumers, especially the elderly and customers on fixed incomes, understand how the technology works and how to take full advantage of pricing design options; and be it further”

Rahul Gaitonde has been writing for since the fall of 2009, and in May of 2010 he became Deputy Editor. He was a fellow at George Mason University’s Long Term Governance Project, a researcher at the International Center for Applied Studies in Information Technology and worked at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. He holds a Masters of Public Policy from George Mason University, where his research focused on the economic and social benefits of broadband expansion. He has written extensively about Universal Service Fund reform, the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program and the Broadband Data Improvement Act

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