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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, Jan. 3, 2014
CONTACT: Leah Mohr, deputy executive director, South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, (605) 773-3201 or (605) 280-4327

PUC's Nelson picked to lead national telecommunications committee

PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Vice Chairman Chris Nelson has been selected to serve as chairman of a national committee of utility regulators charged with analyzing and impacting telecommunications policy, trends and best practices. Nelson's appointment to chair the Committee on Telecommunications for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners was announced today by NARUC president Colette Honorable of Arkansas. The appointment also earns Nelson a spot on NARUC's board of directors.

The Committee on Telecommunications develops NARUC policy through resolutions about current issues that guide the association's message in working with Congress, the Federal Communications Commission and the court system. The committee also works with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, the Office of the United States Trade Representative and the FBI.

"I am honored and humbled by President Honorable's trust in this appointment," Nelson said. "The telecommunications sector is experiencing dramatic change predominately because of regulatory policies emanating from Washington. The NARUC Telecommunications Committee plays a key role in assuring federal policymakers are aware of the practical impact of their choices, particularly on consumers. From rural call completion problems, to broadband expansion, to universal service contribution reform, the country is facing crucial issues that must be resolved. I look forward to working even more closely with my commissioner colleagues on the committee," he continued.

Nelson will head the 28-member panel, of which he has been a member since mid-2011. His leadership will be complemented by committee co-vice chairs Paul Kjellander of Idaho and Catherine Sandoval of California.

His telecommunications experience also includes a role on NARUC's Task Force on Federalism and Telecommunications. Because of his expertise and service, Nelson was recently nominated to a position on the FCC's Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service.

Appointed to the PUC by Gov. Dennis Daugaard in January 2011 to fill a vacancy, Nelson won election to the three-member commission in November 2012 to serve the remaining four years of the term. Nelson served as the PUC's chairman in 2012 and vice chairman in 2011. Prior to his PUC service, he was South Dakota's Secretary of State for eight years.

Visit to learn more about the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. See for additional information about the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission.


MEDIA NOTE: Contact Leah Mohr, or (605) 773-3201, to request a photo of Commissioner Nelson to publish with this release.