Former CPUC Commissioner Rachelle Chong's Archived Webpages
CPUC Commissioner from January 2006 - December 2009
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed me to the Commission on January 11, 2006. I participated in my first Commission meeting on January 12, 2006 with a historic vote on the California Solar Initiative.
I am proud to be the first Asian-American PUC Commissioner in California. Since 1984 when I became a California lawyer, I have been a communications regulatory lawyer practicing before both the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the California PUC. In 1993, President Clinton appointed me to the FCC where I served as an FCC Commissioner for over three years. During my FCC tenure, I voted on rules for the first auctions of wireless PCS spectrum, approved rules to create many new wireless and satellite services, finalized digital television rules, and implemented the historic Telecommunications Act of 1996. I represented the FCC at international communications conferences, including the World Radio Conference and the Asian Pacific Economic Council.
After my FCC service, I was a General Counsel and Vice President of Governmental Affairs for a start up CLEC/broadband/applications service provider venture. More recently, I have been a mediator/arbitrator, owned my own small business, and operated an Ecommerce store on the Internet. As a result, I bring to the CPUC a unique perspective as a federal regulator, long time communications lawyer, small business owner, Web entrepreneur, and mediator.
I have been a strong advocate of competition in all communications markets. At the FCC, I advocated "simple, pragmatic regulation." I encouraged regulators and local authorities to "think outside of the box" – meaning to radically rethink regulations -- given the swift changes in technology and the more competitive market place.
At the CPUC, I expect to continue the formidable work to update its regulatory environment in a fast changing world. I share the Governor's goal of an upgraded, state-of-the-art infrastructure available for all Californians and businesses. I believe that decision makers everywhere should step back from old style "command and control" regulation and instead think "regulatory light" where markets are competitive. Let's focus on setting level playing fields, fair rules that are technology neutral, and enforcement of such rules to protect consumers. In such a case, the new role of a regulatory agency is to be more a referee, ready to step in where necessary to ensure fair competition, and to ensure consumer protection.
I welcome your input about issues of concern. I have an "open door" policy for our regulated utilities. Please email me, or contact my office to obtain a meeting request.