Presley to hold forum Aug. 22

From press reports


Northern District Public Service Commission Brandon Presley will hold an open forum in Choctaw County to hear from ratepayers on the issue of broadband service. The “Community Meeting” will be held on Thursday, August 22, 2013, at the Choctaw County Courthouse, located at 22 East Quinn Street, in Ackerman, MS, from 6:00 pm until 7:00 pm. This meeting is free, and the public is invited to attend.

“I want to give people across my district the opportunity to share their concerns with me personally about the lack of broadband access in their area and how that affects their lives and businesses,” Presley said. “I am committed to using every power granted to the Commission to ensure greater access to this vital service.”

Following the success of his Zap the Gap program for cellular telephone service, Presley recently introduced a Zap the Gap program for broadband which allows residents to report on the status of their internet connectivity. This information is compiled and reported to the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) consistent with the framework created by Congress. The Mississippi Public Service Commission designates companies as Eligible Telecommunications Carriers (“ETCs”) for participation in the FCC’s Universal Service Fund (“USF”) and is tasked with ensuring that ETCs use USF support consistent with federal statutes and the FCC’s implementing regulations. Under this framework, the Commission may collect information to preserve and advance the goal of universal service.

In addition to discussing broadband access, Commissioner Presley will also take questions on other PSC matters, such as the No Call program, financial assistance to low-income ratepayers, and other regulated utility issues.

Since taking office in January of 2008, Presley has been a strong advocate for reform of the PSC and consumer protection issues.