CAF BLS, CBOL implementation are primary focus at annual conference
NECA 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 experiences.
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 issues
Settlements, pooling and tariff updates
Rate development for CBOL, special access and NECA's rate band buy down program
Broadband offerings, including options and cost treatment
This annual 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 for members.
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.