recently hosted its 14th annual Industry Issues Meeting in South
Carolina. With the USF Rate-of-Return Reform Order now in effect, the primary
focus of the meeting was on implementation issues. In an interactive format,
the 65 attendees - from consulting firms and member companies who prepare and
submit their cost studies themselves - heard the latest updates and guidance
on several key issues and provided valuable insights about their
Discussions primarily focused on two areas of concern for
rate-of-return companies: Connect America Fund Broadband Loop Support and the
Consumer Broadband Only Loop rate. NECA has been actively working with the FCC
to clarify implementation details.
Presenters also covered a range of
current issues, including:
Cost studies preparation
Corporate investment allowance development and
pooling and tariff updates
Rate development for CBOL, special
access and NECA's rate band buy down program
offerings, including options and cost treatment
conference always yields helpful feedback from members and their consultants.
It was particularly timely this year given the recent changes in USF reform.
We find these meetings to be as valuable as attendees as it gives us a better
idea of the challenges companies are facing, helps ensure we're all operating
under a common set of rules and assumptions, and helps us be a better resource
Based on the evaluations completed, all attendees found
the meeting either extremely or very useful. While there is a lot involved
with preparing for this meeting each year, it is well worth the effort.