News from the ITA

February 23, 2018


 Legislative Update

The House and Senate were in Session February 13-15. The main event that week was Governor Rauner's annual Budget Address February 14. His budget blueprint called for a shift of pension costs from state government to local school districts and to shift some of the state costs for health insurance to state employees. It is highly unlikely the General Assembly will agree with Rauner's proposal and the state budget negotiations will continue throughout the spring legislative session which ends May 31. Here's some of the coverage of the budget address:

Rauner budget proposal at odds with re-election rhetoric (Chicago Tribune)

Rauner's budget leans on local schools, state workers (State Journal-Register)

The House was not in session this week, but the Senate was in session February 20-22. The bill introduction deadline passed February 16. Summaries and the status of legislation the ITA is tracking and working on can be found on our website.

The House and Senate are scheduled to be in session next week and the following bills are scheduled for committee hearings. The deadline for bills to gain committee approval is April 13.

HB 4081 (Halpin) Call Center Worker & Consumer Protection Act – Oppose - House Economic Opportunity Committee, Tues, Feb. 27, 3:00 pm, D-1 Stratton

SB 2912 (Hastings) Highway Code – Fee Ownership – Damages – Neutral - Senate Judiciary Committee, Tuesday, February 27, 3:15 pm, 400 Capitol

SB 2916 (Rezin) Telecom Joint Use of Utility Facilities - Neutral - Senate Telecommunications and Information Technology Committee, Thursday, March 1, 11:00 am, 212 Capitol

SB 3053 (Cunningham) Biometric Information Privacy – Support - Senate Telecommunications and Information Technology Committee, Thursday, March 1, 11:00 am, 212 Capitol

ICC Proceedings

The Illinois Commerce Commission approved an Order initiating a proceeding und Section 2-202 (i-5) of the Public Utilities Act February 20. Section 2-202 (i-5) was established in Public Act 99-906 to address ICC funding shortfalls. Under the funding mechanism, the ICC determines each October if its Public Utility Fund is running a deficit and may assess electric and gas utilities for the difference between the amount appropriated for its expenses and any shortfall in the Public Utility Fund.

The act also directs the Commissions to initiate a docketed proceeding in which it will consider, in addition to assessments from the electric and gas utilities, raising assessments from water and sewer utilities, alternative electric and gas suppliers and telecommunication providers. Any assessments determined, must be based on the costs to the ICC to exercise its regulatory and supervisory functions with regard to the different industries and service providers.

The Commission’s action initiated a proceeding in Docket 18-0375 which begins the process of determining if and how the additional assessments will be allocated to the other industries beyond electric and gas utilities. ICC Staff provided a "strawman proposal" today and proposed a schedule asking for written comments to be submitted by March 6 and reply comments to be submitted by March 20 and Staff proposes to schedule a workshop to be held March 27. According to ICC Staff, the intention is to use the input gathered from the comments and worskshop for Staff to make final recommendations to the Commission in a Staff Report on or about April 16 to accommodate a Final Order from the Commission by May 2, 2018.

In the strawman proposal, Staff recommended the following allocation of supplemental assessments based on a review of docketed proceedings during the 2013-2017 period and an estimate of the agency resources required to conclude those proceedings:

  • 91.72% to Public Utilities
  • 7.28% to Telecom Carriers
  • 0.68% to Alternative Retail Electric Suppliers
  • 0.32% to Alternative Gas Suppliers 

For the sake of cost-saving, regulatory reduction and efficiency administering the assessments, Staff indicated assessments are not applicable to:

  • utilities with annual intrastate gross revenues of $1 million or less
  • telecom carriers with annual intrastate gross revenues of $10 million or less
  • ARES reporting less than 1 million kilowatt hours
  • AGS reporting less than 1 million dekatherms

ITA 2018 Annual Convention Registration is Open!

Although the telecommunications and broadband industries continue to advance, recent regulatory revenue reform has added a measure of certainty in the industry. With a greater sense of what to expect, how can your company hit a home run?

At the Illinois Telecommunications Association’s 113th Annual Convention you will have the opportunity to find out what’s on deck in Illinois from a legislative, political and regulatory landscape that will help guide your management strategy as new products and technologies emerge.

Step up to the plate in St. Louis for the 2018 ITA Annual Convention where you can network with friends and colleagues from around the industry and catch the latest on state and federal policies changes as well as the cutting-edge technology that will shape our industry and communities for years to come!

Visit our website for more details and to register! Please note, all registration this year will be submitted electronically on our website, we will not be mailing out registration forms unless it is requested.

2018 Convention Presentation Proposals Are Due February 28!

The ITA is accepting submissions for Presenters/Speakers at our 2018 Annual Convention. The Convention is June 10-12, 2018 at the Four Seasons Hotel in St. Louis, MO, with the general session on Monday, June 11th. We are looking for presentations that address the following topics:

  • What does our industry look like in 5-10 years?
  • Managed Services/New Revenue Opportunities for Broadband Providers
  • Smart Cities/IOT/Smart Homes/AI
  • Impact of smart homes and new technology on ISP's- how big does the pipe need to be to serve homes and businesses?
  • Broadband Provider Collaboration/Partnership and Outreach Arrangements
  • Summary from CES/What new and innovated products are coming our way?


Rural Call Completion Language Passes Both Houses (telecompetitor)

National Broadband Map Updates: Newer Data, Speed Tiers; Some Still See Flaws (telecompetitor)

Ready, Set...Net Neutrality Challenges Can Begin This Week (Broadcasting & Cable)

SpaceX Launches Demo Satellites for Its High-Speed Internet Project (CNN) 

Illinois Telecommunications Association

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