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NEWS RELEASE DATE: May 14, 2004
Contact Person: Sue Schaefer, Information Officer
Contact Phone: 605-773-3201
Federal Communications Commission to hold meetings in Rapid City, May 24-27
South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds and South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Chairman Bob Sahr will join Federal Communications Commission (FCC) officials on May 25 in Rapid City to showcase the growth of local wireless internet service provider (WISP) capabilities. The WISP event is the kick-off for a series of communications technology events and public forums hosted by the FCC in Rapid City during the week of May 24, 2004.
The FCC agenda will focus on telecommunications issues of particular importance to people in rural communities and on Tribal lands, such as: uses of satellite technology to provide educational and farm benefits; development of rural wireless broadband internet access; a hearing on how radio and television broadcasters serve the needs and interests of local communities; and the delivery of new telecommunications services to Indian Country.
One of the centerpiece events of the week will be a two-day Regional Workshop and Roundtable Discussion of telecommunications developments on May 26 and 27, part of the FCC's ongoing Indian Telecommunications Initiatives (ITI) program. FCC Chairman Michael Powell will deliver the keynote address to the forum.
On the evening of May 26, Rapid City will be the site of an FCC hearing to explore issues of localism in broadcasting, the third in a series of regional FCC hearings on the topic.
Ending the FCC visit to South Dakota will be a consumer affairs forum cosponsored by the FCC and South Dakota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) during the evening of May 27.
Consumer affairs staff from both agencies will meet with consumers to discuss telecom issues including telephone billing, local and long distance service, wireless phones and service, broadband, the transition to digital TV, and how the agencies handle consumer information and complaints. Opening remarks for the consumer affairs forum will be provided by Rapid City Mayor Jim Shaw.
To register for the FCC's ITI Rapid City Regional Workshop and Roundtable, or to obtain additional information, please call 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) and press number 5 or call 202-418-2513. You may also send a fax to 202-418-1414 or e-mail to email@example.com. For more information on the FCC meetings, or to receive a detailed agenda, contact the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission at 1-800-332-1782, or visit us at www.puc.sd.gov.