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COMPTEL: Regulatory Workshop Promises Policy, Business Discussions

Each spring and fall, COMPTEL PLUS rounds out its educational sessions with some of the most important discussions of all: updates on regulatory developments and what they mean for CLECs. Tomorrows agenda sticks to that formula, with one exception: the addition of a business-focused panel.

First up is Wireline Regulatory Issues Part I The Classification and Regulatory Treatment of Interconnected VoIP Services. Genny Morelli, a partner at Kelley Drye & Warren LLP, the law firm that sponsors the regulatory workshop, will serve as moderator. Shell be joined by panelists Angela Simpson, director of government affairs for Covad Communications; Julia Strow, co-founder of Cbeyond; and Gregg Strumberger, corporate counsel for Level 3 Communications Inc. VoIP is growing in popularity and as that happens, the FCC and states increasingly are lumping the service in with others that must abide by strict rules, such as contributing to the Universal Service Fund. CLECs offering VoIP need to stay in-the-know on ever-changing regulations.

After that will come Wireline Regulatory Issues Part II Current Switched and Special Access Charge Initiatives, Including Special Access Reform and Embarq/Feature Group IP Forbearance Petitions. Kelley Drye partner John Heitmann will lead this discussion. His slated panelists include Ed Cadieux, vice president and senior regulatory counsel for NuVox; John Messenger, vice president and associate general counsel for PAETEC Communications Inc.; and Lisa Youngers, director of federal regulatory affairs for XO Communications.

And this time around, Heitmann said hed do things a little differently than usual. For the regulatory workshop, we typically let regulatory proceedings frame the debate, he said. From there, we back into the business issues. For this panel, I’m planning to start with business issues and opportunities and then work our way into how regulation relates to them. I’m looking forward to a lively discussion.

Heitmann said he plans to focus on matters at the FCC such as traffic stimulation, the Embarq petitions and phantom traffic. He also would like to examine some state activity and then talk about best practices and strategies for CLECs when it comes to switched access.

Finally, the morning will end on a business note. Matrix Telecom is sponsoring the ses-sion titled, Creating an Exit Strategy for Your Business. With a private equity firm, a law practice and another CLEC on deck, the discussion promised to cover whether and when to sell to an investor or rival, as well as the various legal and financial considera-tions. Brian Gustas, senior vice president of business development and carrier relations for Matrix Telecom, will lead the talk. He will be joined by Brad Holtmeier of Beverly Hills-based Platinum Equity, the company that owns Matrix Telecom and that last year bought Trinsic Inc. and Covad. Brad Mutschelknaus, another Kelley Drye partner, and Christopher Williams, the former president and CFO of Sage Telecom, also are panelists.

Covad Communications Group Inc. www.covad.com
FCC www.fcc.gov
Kelley Drye & Warren LLP www.kelleydrye.com
Level 3 Communications Inc. www.level3.com
Matrix Telecom www.matrixbt.com
NuVox www.nuvox.com
PAETEC www.paetec.com
Platinum Equity www.platinumequity.com
Sage Telecom www.sagetelecom.com
XO Communications www.xo.com


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