Rural telecommunications future will be discussed April 12 at USD

Rural telecommunications future will be discussed April 12 at USD The University of South Dakota will host a White Paper Conference on the Future of Telecommunications in Rural America Wednesday, April 12 in the USD School of Law Courtroom.

The event will feature members of the South Dakota Public Utilities and several people involved in telecommunications. It is sponsored by the USD School of Law, School of Business and W.O. Farber Center for Excellence in Leadership in participation with the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission.

Events include a 9:30 a.m. presentation by Doug Martin and Larry Thompson of Martin and Associates, titled "The Cost, Politics and the Future of Telecommunications in Rural States." At 10:30 a.m., Jim Smith of the Iowa Public Utilities Board will present "Adapting State Regulation to the New World of Telecommunications."

Following a presentation by a U S West representative on "U S West's Future Investment in Rural States," a brown bag question and answer session will be held on telecommunications with USD students. The afternoon session will include a 1:30 p.m. presentation by Richard D. Coit of the South Dakota Independent Telephone Coalition. He will address "Independent Companies and Cooperatives."

A legal panel, titled "The Law and Telecommunications in Rural America," will begin at 2:30 p.m. The panel will include Tom Welk of U S West, Barbara Berkenpas of McLeod USA (DTG), and Rolayne Ailts Weist of the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission.

At 3:30 p.m., South Dakota Public Utilities Commissioners, Jim Burg, Laska Schoenfelder and Pam Nelson will be featured in a presentation titled, "The Future of State Regulation."

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