Header, the Administration of the Honorable Lincoln C. Almond
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Executive Order 00-01
February 8, 2000


WHEREAS, the creation of high-quality sustainable employment across the economic spectrum is of the highest importance to the State of Rhode Island; and

WHEREAS, the importance of a broad and stable telecommunications network is increasing as reliance by business, government and individual consumers on telecommunication technologies grows; and

WHEREAS, the State's telecommunications network is a critical component of its economic development; and

WHEREAS, a competitive market for telecommunications services is the best means of delivering inexpensive, high-quality and dependable telecommunications services to consumers; and

WHEREAS, continued diligence with respect to investing in the State's telecommunications network has created a competitive fiber optic and digital switching information technology infrastructure; and

WHEREAS, State public policy should foster and enhance continued growth and allow the most innovative improvements to be brought to the businesses and consumers in Rhode Island as quickly as possible.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Lincoln Almond, by virtue of the power vested in me as Governor of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, do hereby order as follows:

1. There is established the Governor's Telecommunications Task Force charged with developing a legislative and regulatory agenda which will establish Rhode Island as a leader in the delivery of telecommunications services and in attracting businesses which rely on innovative and dependable telecommunication service.

2. The members of this Task Force shall consist of the Administrator of the Division of Public Utilities and Carriers; the Executive Director of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation; the Director of the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation; the Chief Information Officer for the State of Rhode Island; the State Tax Administrator; the Director of the Rhode Island Technology Council; the Executive Director of the Economic Policy Council; a member of the Governor's Policy Office; a member of the House of Representatives; a member of the Senate; and six members of the public with expertise in the telecommunications industry who shall be appointed by the Governor. The members of this Task Force shall serve without compensation. The Governor shall appoint a member as Chairperson.

3 . The Task Force shall:

a) Evaluate Rhode Island's telecommunications industry and develop a strategy for developing new business based upon the State's present and potential telecommunications capacity; and

b) Serve as an information forum for Rhode Island's telecommunications industry to exchange ideas, foster growth and reduce unnecessary administrative obstacles to the industry's growth; and

c) Develop specific policies and proposals, in consultation with industry experts, regulators and economic developers, designed to position Rhode Island as the most competitive location in the United States for telecommunication providers and companies which rely upon innovative and cost-effective telecommunications services; and

d) Identify the needs and concerns of companies looking to enter a new telecommunications industry, and evaluate Rhode Island's competitive position with regard to other States.

4. Staff support for the Task Force shall be provided by the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation.

5. All state agencies shall cooperate and assist the Task Force to the fullest extent possible.

6. The Task Force shall report its findings, recommendations, and legislative and regulatory proposals to the Governor and the Economic Policy Council no later than November 1, 2000.

This Executive Order shall take effect immediately and shall expire upon the submission of the Task Force's final report.

So Ordered:

Lincoln Almond