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This fall, the FCC is looking to act on proposals to reallocate C-band satellite spectrum rights for terrestrial wireless purposes—mid-band frequencies seen as a 5G “sweet spot” that could be worth tens of billions of dollars. Heated debates continue on whether the commission should authorize C-Band Alliance satellite providers—including Intelsat and SES—to conduct a private auction or require a public auction of the 5G mobile rights, how much spectrum should be repurposed, how fast it will be cleared, how auction proceeds should be apportioned, and other topics.

On October 8, The Capitol Forum will host an event during which policy players will discuss the state of play at the FCC and in Congress, as well as the litigation prospects, with court challenges seeming to loom no matter what the agency decides.

Select list of participants includes:

  • Brian Hendricks, Nokia, Vice President of Policy & Public Affairs (Americas Region)
  • Colleen King, Charter Communications, Vice President, Regulatory Affairs 
  • Grant Spellmeyer, U.S. Cellular, Vice President, Federal Affairs & Public Policy
  • Louis Peraertz, Wireless Internet Service Provider's Association, Vice President of Policy
  • Matt DelNero, Covington & Burling LLP, Partner; Counsel for Content Companies
  • Michael Calabrese, New America Open Technology Institute, Director, Wireless Future Project 
  • Michael O'Rielly, FCC, Commissioner 
  • Patrick McFadden, National Association of Broadcasters, Associate General Counsel, Legal & Regulatory Affairs
  • Patrick Welsh, Verizon, Assistant Vice President, Wireless Policy Development 
  • Peter Pitsch, C-Band Alliance, Head of Advocacy & Government Affairs
  • Ross Lieberman, ACA Connects, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs 
  • Steve Sharkey, T-Mobile, Vice President, Government Affairs, Technology & Engineering Policy 

Please note:
  • Lunch will be served starting at noon; keynote begins promptly at 12:30pm.
  • Subscribers are welcome to attend as part of their subscription.
  • Discounted tickets are available for academics, non-profits, and government officials. Email for pricing details, more information, or questions.


Start: October 8, 2019
12:00 pm
End: October 8, 2019
04:00 pm
The Capitol Forum

1200 New Hampshire Avenue Northwest, Washington, DC, USA

1200 New Hampshire Avenue NW, 5th floor
20036 Washington DC
United States


Brian Hendricks

Vice President of Policy and Public Affairs (Americas Region)
Brian Hendricks
  • Brian Hendricks
    Brian Hendricks is Vice President of Policy and Public Affairs for Nokia in North America and the countries of Central and South America. He is responsible for developments impacting technology and innovation including: spectrum allocation, cyber security, infrastructure policy, privacy, and connected society. Brian has nearly two decades of experience in technology policy in the private sector, as a senior congressional staffer, and with the Federal Communications Commission.

    Prior to Nokia, Brian served as Staff Director of the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation where he also served as General Counsel. He was the Committee’s lead advisor in the areas of commerce, space, telecommunications, and emerging technology. Earlier in his career, Brian served in the Enforcement Bureau at the Federal Communications Commission. Before joining the FCC, he spent six years in a variety of policy positions with Ameritech and SBC Communications.

    Brian is a graduate of the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary where he also earned a Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree. He is an adjunct professor in the law school and the graduate Public Policy program at William and Mary. He is also a past Visiting Lecturer at the Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado and frequently speaks on topics including security and the emerging 5G ecosystem.

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Colleen King

Vice President, Regulatory Affairs
Charter Communications
Colleen King
  • Colleen King
    Colleen King is Vice President, Regulatory Affairs at Charter Communications, with responsibility for federal regulatory affairs, particularly wireless and public safety issues.  Prior to joining Charter, she served as Counsel at Wiley Rein LLP, advising clients on spectrum matters before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).  She advised clients on spectrum policy issues and developed advocacy positions related to exclusive or shared spectrum allocations for new wireless services and technologies.  Before Wiley Rein, King worked at the U.S. Department of Justice.  King holds a J.D. from George Washington University Law School and a B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross.
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Grant Spellmeyer

Vice President, Federal Affairs & Public Policy
U.S. Cellular
Grant Spellmeyer
  • Grant Spellmeyer
    As vice president of federal affairs and public policy, Grant is responsible for U.S. Cellular's regulatory and policy efforts that help the company achieve outcomes that support its strategic business positions while providing an excellent customer experience.

    Spellmeyer has more than 20 years of experience in legal affairs, legislative and regulatory issues. Since joining U.S. Cellular in 2006, he has been the principal representative for the company in legislative and regulatory matters. Most recently, he served as executive director of federal affairs and public policy.

    Prior to joining U.S. Cellular, Spellmeyer held several positions at U.S. Cellular's affiliate, TDS Telecom, including director of legal affairs and carrier relations. Prior to joining TDS in 2001, Spellmeyer served as vice president of human resources and general counsel for Chorus Communications Group in Madison, Wis. He also practiced law for six years at a firm in Madison and was a special prosecutor for the Dane County District Attorney's office.

    Spellmeyer earned a bachelor's degree in economics, a master's degree in public policy and administration and a law degree all from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wis. He also has a master's degree in business administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL A native of the Chicago area, Spellmeyer lives in Kensington, Md., with his wife and three children.
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Louis Peraertz

Vice President of Policy
Wireless Internet Service Providers Association
Louis Peraertz
  • Louis Peraertz
    Prior to WISPA, Louis worked in several capacities at the FCC.  Notably, for more than seven years, Louis served as Senior Legal Advisor to former FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn in the areas of wireless, satellite, public safety, and international policies.  In this position, Louis worked to achieve many of Commissioner’s top policy priorities to bridge the digital divide, such as: increased spectrum for unlicensed services in the TV White Spaces, CBRS, C-band, 5 GHz, 6 GHz, and spectrum bands above 24 GHz; dynamic spectrum access management policies in the 700 MHz, 3.5 GHz, and 37 GHz bands; design of geographic area licenses and competitive bidding policies to enhance the ability of small wireless companies to acquire spectrum at auctions; and reform of universal service policies for commercial wireless services, among others.  Before the FCC, Louis worked as a federal appellate court litigator for the U.S. Department of Justice, and also served in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General Corps.  He holds a BA from Princeton University and a JD from Harvard Law School.  

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Matt DelNero

Covington & Burling LLP
Matt DelNero
  • Matt DelNero
    Matt DelNero is co-chair of the firm’s Communications and Media Practice Group. He rejoined Covington in January 2017 after serving as Chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

    Mr. DelNero represents companies and investors in the telecommunications, technology and media sectors before the FCC and other state and federal agencies. In his multi-faceted practice, he routinely advises clients on the full range of issues impacting telecommunications and media providers today, including:

    • Structuring and securing regulatory approvals for telecommunications and media transactions
    • Foreign investment in FCC-regulated companies
    • Universal Service Fund (USF) programs
    • Intercarrier compensation and interconnection disputes
    • Equipment and device authorizations
    • Enforcement investigations
    • Spectrum policy and auctions
    • Broadband regulation, including net neutrality
    • Video programming distribution and regulation
    • Privacy and data protection
    As an FCC Bureau Chief, Mr. DelNero led a team of over 170 attorneys, economists, and other professionals in developing and executing policies to promote the deployment and adoption of broadband and other communications services throughout the United States.
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Michael Calabrese

Director, Wireless Future Project
New America Open Technology Institute
Michael Calabrese
  • Michael Calabrese
    Michael Calabrese is director of the Wireless Future Project, which is part of New America’s Open Technology Institute. He also serves as a senior research fellow affiliated with the Asset Building Program. Mr. Calabrese focuses on developing policies that promote pervasive connectivity, including spectrum policy reform, mobile market competition, wireless broadband deployment, and IT investment and innovation more broadly.

    Calabrese currently serves as an appointed member of the U.S. Department of Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee (CSMAC) since 2009. He also served as an invited expert on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) spectrum reform working group during 2011-2012.

    Calabrese also served as vice president (2003-2010) and was instrumental in establishing the organization's programs in areas including retirement security, health policy, asset building, education, and the Next Social Contract Initiative.

    Previously, Calabrese served as general counsel of the Congressional Joint Economic Committee, as director of Domestic Policy Programs at the Center for National Policy, and as pension and employee benefits counsel at the national AFL-CIO.

    As an attorney and graduate of both Stanford Business and Law Schools, Calabrese speaks and writes frequently on issues related to spectrum, wireless broadband, and internet policy, as well as on pension policy and retirement security. He has co-authored three books and published opinion articles in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic Monthly, Slate, and other leading outlets.

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Michael O'Rielly

Federal Communications Commission
Michael O'Rielly
  • Michael O'Rielly
    Michael O’Rielly was nominated for a seat on the Federal Communications Commission by President Barack Obama on August 1, 2013 and was confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate on October 29, 2013. He was sworn into office on November 4, 2013. On January 29, 2015, he was sworn into office for a new term, following his re-nomination by the President and confirmation by the United States Senate.

    Prior to joining the agency Commissioner O’Rielly served as a Policy Advisor in the Office of the Senate Republican Whip, led by U.S. Senator John Cornyn, since January 2013. He worked in the Republican Whip’s Office since 2010, as an Advisor from 2010 to 2012 and Deputy Chief of Staff and Policy Director from 2012 to 2013 for U.S. Senator Jon Kyl.

    He previously worked for the Republican Policy Committee in the U.S. Senate as a Policy Analyst for Banking, Technology, Transportation, Trade, and Commerce issues from 2009 to 2010. Prior to this, Commissioner O’Rielly worked in the Office of U.S. Senator John Sununu, as Legislative Director from 2007 to 2009, and Senior Legislative Assistant from 2003 to 2007. Before his tenure as a Senate staffer, he served as a Professional Staff Member on the Committee on Energy and Commerce in the United States House of Representatives from 1998 to 2003, and Telecommunications Policy Analyst from 1995 to 1998.

    He began his career as a Legislative Assistant to U.S. Congressman Tom Bliley from 1994 to 1995.

    Commissioner O’Rielly received his B.A. from the University of Rochester.

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Patrick McFadden

Associate General Counsel, Legal & Regulatory Affairs
National Association of Broadcasters
Patrick McFadden
  • Patrick McFadden
    Patrick McFadden is Associate General Counsel at the National Association of Broadcasters. In this role, he helps develop and advance advocacy positions for NAB in the areas of spectrum policy and innovation. Prior to joining NAB in 2013, Patrick was an associate in the Washington office of Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, where he practiced telecommunications law. His practice included policy advocacy, litigation, regulatory compliance and negotiations for wireless, wireline and VoIP service providers and communications device manufacturers. Patrick also worked as a broadcast legal assistant, and as a licensing analyst for a wireless telecommunications carrier. Patrick earned his Juris Doctor from the George Washington University Law School, and his undergraduate degree from Georgetown University.

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Patrick Welsh

Assistant Vice President, Wireless Policy Development
Patrick Welsh
  • Patrick Welsh
    Patrick Welsh joined Verizon in January 2012 as Assistant Vice President – Wireless Policy Development, where he is engaged in the development of Verizon’s public policy positions on spectrum and other wireless issues.

    Prior to joining Verizon, Patrick worked in T-Mobile's government affairs office in both the federal regulatory and legislative affairs groups. As a regulatory attorney, Patrick was responsible for a number of wireless public-policy issues, including spectrum policy, spectrum auctions, voice and data roaming, wireless open access/network neutrality, broadband reclassification, smart grid, mergers and acquisitions, and federal preemption of state regulations. As part of T-Mobile’s legislative team, he lobbied both Democrats and Republicans on the House and Senate commerce committees. Prior to joining T-Mobile, Patrick worked at American Tower, where he managed site development and construction of wireless communications facilities in the Mid-Atlantic area.

    Patrick began his career at Gallagher, Evelius & Jones, LLP as an associate with the firm’s commercial transactions group. He is an adjunct professor at Catholic University's Columbus School of Law and a graduate of Syracuse University College of Law (J.D.) and Loyola College (B.A.).

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Peter Pitsch

Head of Advocacy & Government Affairs
C-Band Alliance
Peter Pitsch
  • Peter Pitsch
    Before his appointment as head of advocacy and government affairs at the C-Band Alliance, Peter Pitsch previously served as associate general counsel for Intel, where he was responsible for global telecommunications policy, a position from which he retired in 2018. Since October 2017, Mr. Pitsch advocated in support of the CBA’s market-based proposal on behalf of Intel. Pitsch has over three decades of experience advocating for public policy issues in front of the Federal Communications Commission “FCC) and U.S. Congress. Positions of note prior to his career at Intel included serving as chief of the office of plans and policy and chief of staff to the Chairman of the FCC during the Reagan Administration.

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Ross Lieberman

Senior Vice President, Government Affairs
ACA Connects
Ross Lieberman
  • Ross Lieberman
    Ross Lieberman serves as Senior Vice President of Government Affairs for ACA Connects – America’s Communications Association (ACA Connects), representing the interests of small and medium-sized broadband, video and voice providers. Lieberman is the trade association's advocate on Capitol Hill and at the Federal Communications Commission. Before joining ACA Connects in 2007, Lieberman directed congressional and state affairs for EchoStar Communications Corporation, parent company of DISH Network, for seven years. Lieberman holds a Juris Doctor degree from American University’s Washington College of Law and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the Johns Hopkins University.

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Steve Sharkey

Vice President, Government Affairs, Technology & Engineering Policy
Steve Sharkey
  • Steve Sharkey
    Steve Sharkey is Vice President, Government Affairs, Technology and Engineering Policy in T-Mobile’s Government affairs office in Washington, DC.  He has overall responsibility for T-Mobile’s technical policy agenda and manages a team of technical experts to achieve the company’s policy goals.  A priority focus is policies that ensure that T-Mobile has access to sufficient spectrum as it deploys the next generation of broadband services. 

    In addition to his role at T-Mobile, Mr. Sharkey is also a member of the Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee, which advises the Administration on spectrum-related issues and policies.

    Prior to joining T-Mobile, Mr. Sharkey was Senior Director, Regulatory and Spectrum Policy in Motorola’s Global Government Affairs office in Washington, D.C.  where he had overall responsibility for Motorola’s global regulatory and advocacy efforts.  Efforts are primarily focused on policies related to spectrum management and broadband deployment and use, including working with U.S. regulators, the ITU, and other regional bodies to implement a long-term vision that facilitates a global framework for broadband growth and public safety.  He managed a global technical, regulatory and advocacy team that includes expertise in a wide variety of spectrum, technology and trade related issues.  

    Prior to joining Motorola, Mr. Sharkey was the lead technical representative for the Washington, DC office of AirTouch Communications.  In this capacity he worked on a number of spectrum and mandate related issues, including CALEA, TTY, and location based initiatives.  Prior to AirTouch, Mr. Sharkey served in a variety of roles at the Federal Communications Commission, including in the Office of Engineering and Technology, where one of his responsibilities was as an alternative liaison representative to the IRAC, and as Chief, Satellite Engineering Branch in the International Bureau.

    Mr. Sharkey has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Delaware.

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