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Journalists seeking an interview with our staff, please contact UTC media contact, Peter Wilson

UTC Awards Recognize Importance of ICT Networks to Grid Reliability, Resilience

WASHINGTON—Aug. 25, 2020 – The Utilities Technology Council (UTC) marked the launch of its first virtual annual Telecom & Technology conference by announcing numerous awards to utilities and personnel who demonstrated initiative, perseverance, and innovative thinking throughout the past year. UTC’s awards recognize the importance of utility Information and Communications Technology (ICT) systems and the employees who build, operate, and maintain these systems to support the reliability, resilience, and safety of the nation’s electric systems. From storm response to day-to-day reliability, ICT networks can also provide opportunities for communities to enhance economic prosperity, provide innovative new services, and support health, education and access to critical services. “Congratulations to all of our winners this year,” said UTC Chairman of the Board Greg Angst of CenterPoint Energy….

Utilities: Economics, Not Pole-Attachment Policies, Are the Real Barrier to Broadband Deployment

Washington—July 29, 2020—The Utilities Technology Council issued the following statement in response to the Federal Communications Commission’s declaratory order on wireless pole-attachment regulations: “Electric utilities empower broadband deployment. All over the country, electric utilities of different sizes and ownership are working to bring broadband service to areas unserved and underserved by traditional telecommunications companies. While there may be a few reasons why certain parts of the country remain unserved, nearly all parties agree that the biggest factor is cost. This is why utilities have such high hopes for the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC, the Commission) Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) auction that we believe will help utilities and other parties bring broadband to more parts of the U.S. “This is also why we are disappointed…

UTC, Utilities Seek Court Review of FCC Spectrum Decision

WASHINGTON—The Federal Communications Commission (FCC, the Commission) acted unlawfully and against the public interest when it permitted a host of new users into a vital spectrum band that will likely cause communications challenges for public safety and critical-infrastructure industries. The Utilities Technology Council, joined by the American Public Power Association, and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, filed a petition with the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to overturn the FCC’s April 2020 decision that opened up the 6 GHz spectrum band to unlicensed use. Utilities and public safety entities use the 6 GHz band for mission-critical communications; any disruption or interference stemming from new unlicensed users will likely degrade and diminish these critical communications, potentially threatening life and safety. Despite…

UTC Board Names Sheryl Riggs as New President, CEO

Washington—June 19, 2020–The Utilities Technology Council Board of Directors has named Senior Vice President of Finance and Operations Sheryl Riggs as its new President and CEO. Ms. Riggs has served as Interim President and CEO since January 2020; the UTC Board approved her appointment during it June 17 meeting. “After a nearly seven-month search and reviewing literally hundreds of applications, we had no shortage of qualified candidates for this position,” UTC Chairman of the Board Greg Angst of CenterPoint Energy said. “After Sheryl led the UTC staff ably and inclusively, ensuring that UTC remained stable during the worst of the economic downturn, it became clear that our CEO was already in place. Sheryl did not blink when the pandemic disrupted all of our lives; she…

Utilities Applaud FCC Broadband Funding, Encourage Strong Oversight of Program

Washington—June 9, 2020—The Utilities Technology Council issued the following statement after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC, the Commission) approved the bidding rules for the first phase of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) auction: “Electric utilities across the U.S. empower broadband deployment, especially as hundreds of rural electric cooperatives are poised to participate in the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund auction to bring robust, affordable and reliable broadband services to unserved and underserved communities. The Utilities Technology Council looks forward to reviewing the Federal Communications Commission’s public notice and appreciates its decision today finalizing the bidding rules for the first phase of the RDOF auction. As we await the final text of the order, we hope the order will ensure that the RDOF funding be carefully…

FCC Fails to Balance Innovation, Protection of Critical Communications in 6 GHz Plan

Washington—April 23, 2020—The Utilities Technology Council issued the following statement after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC, the Commission) voted to approve an order allowing unlicensed operations in the critical 6 GHz spectrum band: “We have yet to see the final rule approved today by the Federal Communications Commission. Once we review the order we will have more extensive comments. Expanding WiFi access is undoubtedly a critical goal that could result in significant benefits to all Americans. Our nation’s electric, water, and natural gas utilities believe there is a way to usher in these game-changing applications while also protecting the very networks needed to power them. We worked in good faith with the FCC and proponents of allowing unlicensed use in the 6 GHz band to…

Data Shows the FCC Must Protect Critical-Infrastructure Incumbents in 6 GHz Proceeding: UTC’s Artz

Washington—April 1, 2020—The Utilities Technology Council issued the following statement after the Federal Communications Commission stated it will act on its proposed rules to allow unlicensed operation in the 6 GHz spectrum band at its April 23 open meeting: “We will be reviewing the draft order when it is available. We have and will continue to provide the FCC with technical detail demonstrating the very real interference potential from unlicensed use across all parts of the band and the need for thoroughly tested automated frequency coordination (AFC) to protect incumbent users. While we appreciate the FCC proposing to require AFC for the standard-power access points, these measures must also be applied to all unlicensed devices in the band to prevent interference to mission-critical utility communications…

UTC Hires Energy, Telecom Hill Staff Leader Rardin as Director of Government Affairs, Communications

Aiming to provide more education and awareness around utility information and communications technology policy needs, the Utilities Technology Council has hired David Rardin as its Director of Government Affairs and Communications. Mr. Rardin comes to UTC from Capitol Hill, where he worked for more than eight years for Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH), a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Most recently, Mr. Rardin served as Rep. Johnson’s Legislative Director, where he focused on the energy and telecommunications policies under the Energy and Commerce Committee’s jurisdiction. “We are fortunate to find someone of David’s caliber for this position,” said UTC Senior Vice President of Government and External Affairs Sharla Artz. “David is uniquely qualified to assist UTC and our members as we face dynamic…

New FCC Funding Program a ‘Critical Piece’ to Expanding Broadband Services: UTC

Washington—Jan. 30, 2020—The Utilities Technology Council issued the following statement after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC, the Commission) approved the $20.4 billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund to expand broadband deployment in unserved and underserved areas of the U.S.: “The Utilities Technology Council applauds the Federal Communications Commission for adopting the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF), which will help to promote the deployment of robust, reliable and resilient broadband networks. Utilities empower broadband deployment, and programs like the RDOF will help utilities and others offset the high cost of bringing internet services in unserved areas. The RDOF program will help ensure that Americans in these areas have access to broadband services that are reasonably comparable to services available in urban areas of the country. UTC supports…

UTC Board Appoints Senior VP Riggs as Interim CEO, Affirms 2019 Promotions

[NOTE: UTC has hired PNP Staffing Group to manage our CEO selection process. If you are interested in applying, please contact PNP Vice President Barbara Ramundo by Jan. 31, 2020. The job description and posting are available online. Thank you.] WASHINGTON—Utilities Technology Council Board Chairman Greg Angst of CenterPoint Energy announced today that Sheryl Riggs, UTC Senior Vice President of Finance and Operations, will serve as the Association’s Interim CEO. Ms. Riggs, who officially began her new duties on Jan. 13, will serve in this position until the UTC Board of Directors hires a permanent CEO. Former President and CEO Joy Ditto began in her new role as President and CEO of the American Public Power Association on Jan. 13. “We are grateful to Sheryl…

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