By - Jon Brown

FCC 101: Telecom Regulations Impacting Energy Utility Operations and Procurement
August 6-7, 2018 | Denver, CO

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This course is designed to give professionals who work with or for energy utilities an understanding of how energy utilities use communications facilities and services that are regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  It identifies how those regulations impact energy utilities, both as a user of communication facilities and when applicable as a provider of those services.  It provides critical guidance on how to comply with applicable FCC regulations.

The course is intended for attorneys, telecom and IT managers or technicians, outside plant managers, government affairs professionals, procurement specialists, and others whose scope of work includes at least some involvement with communications assets or services used in support of utility operations. The course will help in-house counsel better understand and manage regulatory and commercial risks, and will help others in the organization better understand how the FCC works and how to comply with FCC regulations.

The course will discuss the importance of communications to the modern energy utility, the types of systems that are used, how FCC regulations can significantly impact utility operations, and the issues that can arise when negotiating agreements with third-party providers. It will cover the basics of FCC compliance, spectrum acquisition and radio licensing, tower management, pole attachment regulations, and the unique transactional issues in procuring telecom or IT services from commercial service providers. The course will also identify current regulatory issues and trends in telecommunications that could impact utility operations.

Learning Outcomes

  • Explain the interdependence between energy and communications
  • Describe how FCC regulations can significantly impact energy operations
  • Identify key FCC compliance issues facing energy utilities
  • Practice strategies for negotiating agreements with telecom and IT service providers
  • Discuss how to identify and mitigate regulatory and financial risks related to communications systems and services



EUCI has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).  In obtaining this accreditation, EUCI has demonstrated that it  complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As a result of their Authorized Provider status, EUCI is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.

EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 1.0 CEUs for this event.


Requirements for Successful Completion of Program

Participants must sign in/out each day, be in attendance for the entirety of the course

Instructional Methods

Power Point presentations and open discussion


Monday, August 6, 2018

8:00 – 8:30 a.m. :: Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:30 am – 5:00 p.m. :: Course Timing

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. :: Group Luncheon

Welcome and Course Overview

How and Why Energy Utilities Use Communications

  • Non-technical description of utility communications systems, including
    • Land Mobile Radio
    • Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA)
    • Advanced Metering Infrastructure
    • Microwave Radio
    • Fiber optics
    • Wide Area Networks (WANs), including Multi-Protocol Labeling Services (MPLS) and Software Defined Network Networks (SDNs)
    • SIP Trunking (Voice over Internet)
  • Internal communications systems vs. use of public networks

Introduction to the Federal Communications Commission

  • Scope of FCC jurisdiction
  • Statutory basis for FCC authority
  • Agency organization
  • Development of FCC rules and policy
  • FCC Enforcement
  • Researching FCC rules

Regulation of Radio Spectrum Used in Utility Operations

  • Fundamental terminology used in managing radio spectrum
  • Spectrum allocation and assignment process
  • Licensed vs. unlicensed spectrum
  • Types of authorizations issued by FCC
  • General conditions of FCC licensing authority

Obtaining Radio Spectrum for Utility Operations

  • Direct FCC licensing of site-based systems
  • FCC auctions of radio spectrum
  • Buying or leasing spectrum on the secondary market
    • Regulatory requirements
    • Contract considerations

Regulatory Conditions Associated with FCC Licenses

  • Eligibility for licensing
  • Permissible Uses
  • Modifications of license
  • License Assignments and Corporate Transfers of Control

Ancillary Issues in Radio Licensing

  • FCC regulation of antenna structures
  • Notice to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
  • Environmental rules applicable to tower construction
    • Environmental protection (NEPA)
    • RF Radiation
    • Historic preservation

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

8:00 – 8:30 a.m. :: Continental Breakfast

8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. :: Course Timing

Utilities as Consumers of Telecom and IT Services

  • Types of services used to support utility operations
  • Negotiating agreements to save money and reduce risks
  • Suggested RFI and RFP processes
  • Crafting service agreements for telecom, IT, and cloud services, and the unique structure of these deals
  • Service Level Agreements
  • Dispute resolution

Utilities as Providers of Telecom, Infrastructure and Related Services

  • FCC regulation of utility poles, conduits and rights-of-way
  • Dark-fiber and indefeasible rights of use (IRUs)
  • Strategies to minimize telecom regulation and regulatory fees
  • Leasing of utility facilities for wireless collocations
  • State regulatory issues

Current Issues and Trends in Telecom

  • Current Issues:
    • Telecom Transitions (from circuit-switched networks to IP-based networks)
    • Broadband deployment
    • Net neutrality
  • Current Trends:
    • Universal Service Fund
    • The “Internet of Things”
    • SDN Networks
    • Network security

Top 5 FCC Compliance Issues for Energy Utilities


Jeffrey Sheldon/Partner/ Levine, Blaszak, Block & Boothby, LLP

Jeffrey L. Sheldon is a partner in the law firm of Levine, Blaszak, Block & Boothby, LLP, where he advises clients on a wide range of telecommunications regulatory and transactional issues, with an emphasis on the use of wireless technologies and the development of telecom infrastructure.

Mr. Sheldon has advised clients with interests in wireless devices and systems, broadband deployment, pole attachments, and universal service. He has assisted clients in obtaining FCC authority for the operation of radio systems in a variety of frequency bands and radio services, including private and commercial mobile radio systems, point-to-point and point-to-multipoint microwave systems, satellite earth stations, and experimental radio systems. Mr. Sheldon has also represented companies in FCC enforcement proceedings, including the negotiation of consent decrees to resolve such cases.

After beginning his career as an associate with a boutique communications law firm, Mr. Sheldon served as vice president and general counsel of the Utilities Telecom Council (UTC), where he represented the telecom and IT interests of electric, gas, and water utilities before the FCC, NTIA, Congress, and the courts.

Laura McDonald/Partner/ Levine, Blaszak, Block & Boothby, LLP

Laura F.H. McDonald is a partner in the firm of Levine, Blaszak, Block & Boothby, LLP. Ms. McDonald represents large enterprise users in a variety of telecom matters focusing on the negotiation of custom and complicated network service agreements and helping customers transition to new services, data center environments, and/or providers.

Ms. McDonald works closely with all members of the enterprise client team—legal, procurement, engineering, and operations—to enable clients to create comprehensive solutions and contracts, assess their needs and risks, and help streamline the procurement of telecom and data services. On an ongoing basis, she works with clients to strengthen their procurement processes, maximize their contract leverage, and identify risks that can reduce savings. She helps enterprises navigate the complex regulatory structure surrounding their transactions, and frequently speaks on demystifying the myths customers encounter in negotiations. She also assists users in resolving disputes with carriers and, when necessary, arbitrating, and mediating disputes before the FCC and other forums. And she has been involved in several regulatory proceedings representing large users.

In addition, Ms. McDonald organizes and runs intra-corporate training sessions on telecommunications, has represented entities interested in investing in telecommunications firms and advised them on the regulatory proceedings that affect entry into the field and the changing regulatory environment. She also has worked with newer entrants into the market in negotiating their deals with carriers.

Colleen Boothby/Partner/ Levine, Blaszak, Block & Boothby, LLP

Colleen Boothby is a partner in the firm of Levine, Blaszak, Block & Boothby, LLP, where she provides counsel and strategic advice on a wide variety of regulatory, business, and litigation matters to enterprise customers and providers of communications and information technology products and services.

Ms. Boothby joined Levine, Blaszak, Block & Boothby, LLP after ten years with the Federal Communications Commission where she served as the legal advisor to the Common Carrier Bureau Chief, legal advisor to the Deputy Bureau Chief for Policy, Deputy and Associate Chief of the Tariff Division, and staff and senior supervising attorney in the Tariff and International Facilities Divisions of the Common Carrier Bureau. Ms. Boothby’s expertise covers a broad range of subjects, including the rules and policies affecting prices and contract flexibility for users of communications services; information technology products, information services, the Internet, and public or private intranets; the deployment of broadband technologies; the management and assignment of numbers in the North American Numbering Plan; the 1996 Telecommunications Act and the regulatory proceedings implementing it; universal service funding mechanisms and surcharges; and the regulation (and deregulation) of international, interstate, and local exchange services.


EUCI Office Building Conference Center
4601 DTC Blvd, B-100
Denver CO, 80237

Suggested Hotel

Hyatt Place Denver Tech Center
8300 E. Crescent Parkway
Greenwood Village, CO 80111
0.9 miles away
Nightly Rate for EUCI Attendees: $159.00

Click on the following booking link: Hyatt Place Denver Tech Center – EUCI and use Group Code: EUCI or

Call Central Reservations at 888-492-8847 and ask for the EUCI rate of $159 under the corporate/group code EUCI

Other Nearby Hotels

Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center
7800 E Tufts Ave
Denver, CO 80237
Phone: 303-779-1234
0.3 miles away

Hilton Garden Inn Denver Tech Center
7675 E Union Ave
Denver, CO 80237
Phone: 303-770-4200
0.6 miles away

Denver Marriott Tech Center
4900 S Syracuse St
Denver, CO 80237
Phone: 303-779-1100
0.7 miles away


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