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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012
CONTACT: Leah Mohr, deputy executive director, South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, (605) 773-3201 or (605) 280-4327

PUC's Nelson appointed to national task force

PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Chairman Chris Nelson has been appointed to a new task force that will review and set new policies on telecommunication regulation for a national state utility regulators organization.

The National Association of Regulatory Commissioners Task Force on Federalism and Telecommunications will examine whether the association's existing positions and resources need to be updated to track with changes in the telecommunications and wireless sectors. The task force is charged with updating NARUC's "Federalism and Telecom" White Paper that was produced in 2005. Among the issues the group will discuss are how states interact and react to decisions by the FCC and other federal agencies, principles for evaluating state-level telecommunications legislation and any pending rewrite of existing federal communications law.

"I intend to be involved at the detail level of this process," Nelson said. "The telecommunications industry has faced tremendous challenges and undergone substantial change in recent years. I'm looking forward to contributing to the discussions and helping to shape policy by sharing a rural state's perspective," he continued.

The appointment was made by NARUC President Philip Jones of the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission. Nelson joins state utility commissioners from Michigan, Pennsylvania, Idaho, West Virginia, Florida and California on the task force.

Nelson was appointed to the PUC by Gov. Dennis Daugaard in January 2011 to fill a vacancy on the commission. In November 2012, he was elected to serve the remaining four years of the term. Nelson is a member of NARUC's Committee on Telecommunications.