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Workshop on Pole Databases & Applications in California

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We are holding a public workshop to examine the status of databases and database applications in California regarding pole and conduit information, including pole location, attachments, material, ownership, and management, and the implications of such data management for safety and access. 


WHEN
: March 17, 2017, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

WHERE: CPUC Auditorium, 505 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco; listen-only call-in number 888-469-0506, passcode 92105; webcast www.adminmonitor.com/ca/cpuc 

In recent years, California has experienced power outages and wildfires associated with utility poles. The CPUC has taken significant steps toward improving utility pole safety, including: 1) Authorizing staff to issue Citations to communications companies for violations of General Order 95, dealing with overhead line construction, and other applicable rules and regulations, thus providing a more streamlined resolution process than is possible in a full investigation; 2) Extending utility pole right-of-way rules to commercial mobile radio service providers; 3) Amending General Order 95; and 4) Holding a day-long Utility Pole En Banc during which utility executives and stakeholders addressed safety issues specific to utility poles.

In reflection of utility poles' essential role in safety, reliability, and competition, the CPUC will undertake a series of initiatives related to Utility Pole Management, including but not limited to: a Rulemaking examining coordination between pole owners and attachers; a census of existing poles and attachments; the creation of a shared repository of information on utility poles and attachments; and the creation of a mobile app allowing users to document and report utility pole issues from their smartphones.

The results of the March 17 workshop will be used by CPUC staff to draft proposed proceedings for the CPUC's consideration.

AGENDA

9:30-10 a.m.:  - Welcome and Background by Elizaveta Malashenko, Director, Safety and Enforcement Division, CPUC

                        - Opening Remarks by Michael Picker, President, CPUC

10 a.m.-Noon:   Morning Panels: How do electric utilities, communication providers, municipalities, and joint pole administrators collect and manage pole and conduit information

        -10-11 a.m.: Presentation 1:  Northern California Perspective;  Moderator:  Elizaveta Malashenko                                                         

        -11 a.m.-Noon: Presentation 2:  Southern California Perspective; Moderator:  Elizaveta Malashenko

Noon-1:15 p.m.: Lunch Break

1:15-2:30 p.m.: Presentation 3: Lessons learned in shared databases and management; Moderator:  Elizaveta Malashenko   

2: 30-3:45 p.m.:   Panel Discussion: Potential Use Cases of Data Sharing;  Moderator:  Elizaveta Malashenko   

3:45-4 p.m.: Concluding Remarks by President Picker and Elizaveta Malashenko      

 

 

New Report Highlights Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program Success

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We have issued our Annual Report for the Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program (DDTP), demonstrating the program’s success to hundreds of thousands of Californians who are hearing impaired and those who have vision, speech, mobility, and cognitive disabilities.  

Our Executive Director wrote a cover letter for the report, as follows: 

The Program reaches out across the entire State and brings positive benefits to both rural and urban communities. 

With advice from the two public consumer advisory committees, the Telecommunications Access for the Deaf and Disabled Administrative Committee (TADDAC) and the Equipment Program Advisory Committee (EPAC), the Program provides accessibility of telecommunication devices to those of greatest need and in many languages including English, Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin), Hmong, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese.  

During Fiscal Year 2015-16, the California Telephone Access Program (CTAP) component of the Program continued to expand its support to State residents. It has added over 15,000 new customers and is now supporting more than 667,000 Californians with specialized equipment. Also, the Program staffs 13 Service Centers to include seven full-time and six part-time facilities. Two new part-time Service Centers were opened this past year, one in San Jose and the other in West Covina.     

The California Relay Service (CRS) component of the Program remains an important method for making the public telephone network, including 911 and emergency services, accessible to those who are Deaf and who have hearing and speech difficulties. During FY 2015-16, the CRS was used to complete over two million calls.

More recently, through enabling legislation, the CPUC has provided Program participants funding for Speech Generating Devices. In the first three years, the Program has approved 187 applications and provided $1,378,670 in funding to fully or partially subsidize Speech Generating Devices and required accessories.

On behalf of the CPUC and its Commissioners, I am proud of the DDTP and the essential services they maintain. Their ability to keep people connected through the substantial technological challenges of a changing telecommunications environment earns our heartfelt thanks. 

 

CPUC Comments on Report on PG&E Customer Bills

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Today we offered the following comment on a report issued yesterday by Senator Jerry Hill regarding the recent bills of Pacific Gas and Electric Company customers:

There are many solid recommendations in Senator Hill's report. We will review the report closely to determine the best way to implement appropriate measures, such as adjusting the winter baseline. We thank Senator Hill for the report, as we all work toward ensuring utilities are educating and responding to their customers to help them understand their energy use and the changes in their billing, and the assistance programs that are available.

Necessary rate changes do not mean that bills have to increase. Customers are being given more and more tools to control their energy usage and manage their bills. The CPUC is committed to ensuring that the utilities educate customers on the available tools and the need to make sure vulnerable customers are not left behind.  CPUC staff has been reviewing factors surrounding the recent increase in gas bills and some of their recommendations mirror Senator Hill's report on how to reduce the likelihood of large spikes in the future and how to better educate utility customers on how they can manage their bills.  

CPUC staff will present at a future Voting Meeting on responses to current customer complaints, and programs and measures that can help lower bills.

For an overview of certain consumer programs, please see our brochure.

We also have fact sheets on assistance programs and level pay plans.

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