San Francisco Chapter
Knowledge Exchange for Communication Technology, Applications and Policies


Next Meeting

IEEE San Francisco Communications Society and the Distinguished Lecture Tour Presents:

"FCC Broadband Regulation"

Speaker: Helen Mickiewicz, California Public Utilities Commission

Date: Tuesday, March 16th, 2010, 6:30PM
Location: The California Public Utilities Commission, 505 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco

The FCC is the federal agency which presently is overseeing the deployment and delivery of broadband services. At present, a federal court case, involving Comcast, has cast into question the extent to which the FCC can regulate broadband services and/or their providers. This presentation will describe the FCC - it's political make-up and organizational structure.

I will discuss the history of the FCC's jurisdictional relationship to the states, providing examples of litigation over jurisdiction, and then of cooperation between the states and the FCC which produced a positive result for consumers. Against the background of the ongoing jurisdictional tension, I will discuss the present focus on broadband regulation. Who should? Who shouldn't? Should anyone?


Helen M. Mickiewicz is an Assistant General Counsel in the Legal Division of the California Public Utilities Commission.  Since joining the Commission legal staff in 1986, she has practiced exclusively in telecommunications, served as a commissioner’s legal advisor, and has participated in developing California telecommunications policy. 

She has represented CPUC staff in a variety of administrative proceedings before the CPUC itself, and has
represented the CPUC in federal court proceedings implementing and applying various provisions of the 1996 Federal Telecommunications Act.

She also represents the CPUC in rulemaking proceedings at the Federal Communications Commission, and has testified for the CPUC before the California Legislature.   

Ms. Mickiewicz obtained her B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley, and is a graduate of UCLA Law School.  She is a member of the
American Bar Association, and has spoken on telecommunications law before academic groups, in public forums, and at telecommunications industry and legal conferences.  Before attending law school, she worked for several years as a broadcast journalist, primarily in public radio. For the past 15 years,

Ms. Mickiewicz has been the Legal Division liaison to the CPUC’s Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program, and in that
capacity, has advised the DDTP Advisory Committees on legal issues relevant to the operation of the Program.  From 2001 through 2007,
she served as a CPUC alternate delegate to the North American Numbering Council, an FCC advisory board on numbering issues. She has
served as president of the Conference of California Public Utility Counsel in 1999. 

She is a co-founder of Women in Telecommunications,
a non-profit networking organization for women in the telecommunications industry, and served for several years on the WiT Board of Directors.

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The Public Utilities Commission is on the corner of Van Ness and McAllister diagonally across from City Hall. There is a parking lot on Franklin between McAllister and Golden Gate and underground lots at Opera Plaza on Golden Gate between Franklin and Van Ness and at Civic Center Plaza on McAllister between Polk and Larkin. Parking under the PUC is not open to the public. Parking meters west of Van Ness are inactive after 6:00 PM. Any bus running on VanNess will stop on the corner.

Coming from the East by BART or Metro, it is best to transfer to a No. 5 Bus going west at the Powel Street Station. Alternatively, it is a 5 to 10-minute walk from Civic Center Station and about the same from Van Ness Station.

Coming from the West by Metro or bus, transfer to a bus going North on Van Ness.
There are two entrances to the building.  One is under the state seal at the top of the steps on the corner of Van Ness and McAllister. The other is on Golden Gate between Franklin and Van Ness. The gates for both entrances close at 5:30 pm. It is better to use the Golden Gate entrance because the meeting room is just inside.