Lest our intrepid blog readers come to believe that PFF is too anchored inside the Washington, D.C. beltway, this posting comes from the annual meeting of the state regulators. At this very moment, NARUC's "Respecting Regional Differences" conference is in full swing in Atlanta, Georgia.
Several resolutions were passed this morning in the telecommunications committee. More details to follow after the final version of the text is released. In addition to the resolutions, the audience was given the opportunity to hear from FCC Wireline Chief, Bill Maher. Among other points, Maher noted that the VoIP distinction created by the Stevens' report --qualitatively different treatment for computer-to-computer and phone-to-phone communications -- is becoming increasingly difficult to discern due to advances in technology. While this states the obvious, at times this morning the obvious was in short supply.
The opening session brought no surprises. Commissioners Diane Munns of Iowa, Marilyn Showalter of Washington and Stan Wise of Georgia were elected by acclamation to the posts of Second Vice President, First Vice President and President of NARUC respectively. The most entertaining nominating speech was certainly given by Cmr. Jim Kerr of North Carolina (for Stan Wise) and the most scholarly goes to Cmr. Elliott Smith of Iowa (for Diane Munns) who quoted 16th century Jesuit scholar Baltasar Gracian. While the exact quote escaped me at the time, I'll offer my own favorite from Gracian: "Work is the price we pay for reputation." Clearly, each of the NARUC officers has a very strong reputation among their peers...and we wish them well in their efforts this year.