Infrastructure Committee: Net Neutrality, Eversource Rate Case Update

At the December meeting, the Infrastructure Committee began discussing ideas to present to the board on how the Cape Cod Technology Council might take a lead in the net neutrality discussion. 

CCTC Board President Bert Jackson reported on a previous conversation with Art Gaylord (former CIO of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute) about coming up with a position for the Council to take. Art’s recommendation is that we follow what Attorney General Maura Healey is doing, see what kind of role we can play in education, and put together a list of pros and cons. 

The committee feels that a good starting point is to play an educational role, pulling together a kind of Net Neutrality 101. There is a lot of partial information circulating, and the Tech Council could be useful in verifying sources and presenting the facts on what is being repealed. The tech council has many roles they can fill, including explaining to people what’s being talked about – ourselves included.

The committee discussed bringing in experts, including Chris Mitchell of the Institute for Local Self Reliance – an organization that advocates for cord cutting.

Five CCTC committee members offered to work on assembling information, with an open invitation for others to join. They will begin assembling useful links to information to help the public understand Net Neutrality, including a podcast of WBUR’s On Point, and this video from CGP Grey:

It was also suggested that a group create an interactive, educational timeline as it applies to the Cape, from dial-up to today. 

Once the Executive Board takes a position, the Technology Council can post a statement, file comments, and advocate for the position. 

In addition to the Net Neutrality discussion, Austin Brandt came to update the committee on the DPU proceedings. He said the DPU has issued the first of two rate case orders. EverSource refiled their rate design last summer. The DPU set return on equity, disallowing a lot of the revenue EverSource requested. They also sent grid modernization back to the grid mod docket to allow for a consistent state-wide approach, so EverSource can’t include it in the rate case. Cost shifting and rate design will be decided the end of December – a topic CLC had weighed in on. Rates will not take effect until February 1. We will see what the DPU does on grid modernization next year. 

At this point, Austin said, we’re watching and waiting.

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