• Welcome to the Law Offices of Rachelle Chong

    Legal and Strategic Consulting Services

    Former Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission and California Public Utilities Commission


    Nationally recognized Government/Regulatory Affairs Expert and Advocate in California

    Fields of Expertise: Regulatory matters relating to Sharing Economy, Autonomous Vehicles, Transportation Network Companies, Transportation Policy, Telecommunications, Broadband, Telehealth, E-Rate, California Teleconnect Fund, LifeLine, Wireless Communications, Public Safety Communications, Cable, Digital Literacy, Smart Grid, Renewable Energy, Electric Vehicles, and general California public utilities law.

    I have forged deep ties in the communications, energy and transportation industries throughout my career as an FCC and California PUC Commissioner. I have developed an expansive local, state, and Federal government and regulatory agency network. This extensive network offers me the unique ability to assist acompanies in understanding governmental processes, advocate innovative policies in California and in Washington, D.C., and expedite projects.


    As head of Government Relations for Golden State Network, the Third Party Administrator for the California Dept. of Technology, I worked on helping the State of California build a $3.7 B statewide open access middle mile network to enhance affordable broadband throughout the State.


    As Chair of SHLB Coalition, I assisted in advocating for national policies that would bring broadband infrastructure and digital equity to schools, libraries and rural health care facilities nationally through the FCC's E-Rate and other programs.


    As a Governor Schwarzenegger appointee to the California’s Public Utilities Commission, I served as the Assigned Commissioner telecom, broadband, digital literacy, and Internet policies involving work with the Federal Communications Commission, Dept. of Commerce's NTIA, Department of Energy, and Dept. of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service from 2006-2009. I initiated a multi million California Advanced Services Fund to deliver broadband infrastructure to areas without broadband. I helped lead efforts to form and stand up the California Telehealth Network with a multi million dollar FCC grant. I led successful efforts to update the state’s telecommunications regulatory framework, reduce consumer complaint backlogs, and bring modern telephone devices to the deaf and disabled community.


    In energy, as the Assigned Commissioner, I led nation-leading energy dockets on Smart Grid, Electric Vehicles, Dynamic Pricing and Demand Response. I was proud to cast the key vote to approve the California Solar Initiative at my first CPUC voting meeting. I continue to be active in energy matters, with an emphasis on electric vehicles, microgrids, renewable energy, and wildfire issues.


    As an appointee of President Bill Clinton, I served as a Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission in 1996-1999, working to implement the Telecom Act of 1996, initiate the first spectrum auctions, license many new wireless services, and bring forward the digital television transition.


    As interim General Counsel of Sidecar, outside CPUC regulatory lobbyist to Waymo and Lyft, I have impacted the crafting of new regulations and laws for ride sharing and autonomous vehicles.

    As General Counsel and VP Gov't Affairs of Broadband Office, I managed legal, regulatory, HR and real estate groups at a Kleiner Perkins start-up in the IP-enabled broadband and apps space.




    Legal and Lobbying


    Telecommunications, Broadband, and Internet Regulation & Policy

    Assist with Licensing, Broadband Grants, Mergers, Rulemaking, Complaints


    Government Relations

    Represent clients before California PUC, Federal Communications Commission


    Transportation Law and Policy

    Advise Transportation Network Companies, Common Carrier Regulation & Vessel Common Carriers


    Sharing Economy

    Assist tech clients like Sidecar, Airbnb, and Waymo to navigate the regulatory environment

    Energy Policy

    Smart Grid, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Climate Change, Microgrids


    Electric Vehicle and Autonomous Vehicle Regulation

    Work with cutting edge clients to bring forward EVs and AVs.

  • The Blog

    Thoughts, musings, and ruminations. All opinions expressed are mine.

  • Selected Published Articles

    "FCC Action Offers Electric Utilities Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity to Accelerate Modernization of Critical Operations"

    Denton’s Global Smart Cities & Connected Communities Spring Summer 2020, at page 43.


    “The Broadband Mapping Flaw that is Harming Education and Healthcare”


    by Rachelle Chong and Larry Irving, Benton Institute for Broadband and Society, December 14, 2020.


    "Commissioner Chong's View: Landmark FCC Order Impacts Every U.S. Electric Utility"

    "A Silicon Valley Wish List for FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler"


    “Financing Telecommunications Projects in Asia: A Promising Regulatory Perspective”,

    by Rachelle Chong and Wendy Chow, Federal Communications Law Journal, Vol. 52 : Issue 1, Article 2 (1999)

    Available at: https://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/fclj/vol52/iss1/2

    "Bridging Digital Technologies and Regulatory Paradigms: Interesting Times At The FCC"

    By FCC Commissioner Rachelle Chong, Remarks To Bridging Digital Technologies And Regulatory Paradigms Conference, Berkeley, California: June 27, 1997 published on Gifts of Speech


    "Speech of the Roscoe L. Barrow Memorial Award Winner"

    Rachelle Chong, Speech of the Roscoe L. Barrow Memorial Award Winner, 16 Hastings Comm. & Ent. L.J. 428 (1994).
    Available at: https://repository.uchastings.edu/hastings_comm_ent_law_journal/vol16/iss3/2

    "Trends in Communications and Other Musings About Our Future"

    by Rachelle Chong, Federal Communications Law Journal, Vol. 47, Issue 2, Article 12 (1994)


  • Speaker


    Request Commissioner Chong to speak at your event

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  • Connect With Me

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    Email: rachelle.chong@chonglaw.net



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    Law Office of Rachelle Chong

    Solo practitioner providing legal and lobbying services to selected clients.


    July 2013 – Present


    Provides legal and registered lobbyist services via Strategic Consulting of Rachelle Chong for a broad array of clients before the California PUC and FCC. Career regulatory lawyer before California Public Utilities Commission and Federal Communications Commission.

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    Making Every Vote Count, Inc.


    2023 to present


    MEVC Inc. is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, that is working to reform the country’s presidential electoral college system to assure two things. First, that the candidate for the country’s highest office who earns the most votes nationwide becomes president. Second, that the votes of all citizens in the presidential election count and matter equally. This means ensuring that individual votes get counted toward state popular votes; ensuring that state popular votes are respected when tabulating the national winner; and encouraging reform such that individual votes influence the election outcome in as direct a manner as possible. We seek to invigorate a national movement behind these important election reform issues through direct and grassroots legislative advocacy, legal argument, and public discourse. We support and coordinate with organizations that share our commitment to the fundamental value that the person who wins the most votes nationwide, and the belief that all votes count and matter equally.

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    Networking cybersecurity solutions

    Public Sector Advisory Council Member

    April 2022 to present


    The Fortinet PSAC helps steer and advise Fortinet as it advises its cleints on the evolving security challenges and technology needs to address these challenges.

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    R36 Solutions

    Strategic Business Consulting Firm

    CEO and Principal

    May 2022 - March 2023


    Five member national consulting firm helping select clients in the areas of energy, broadband, transportation with business strategy, and federal grant applications.

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    Wireless Technology Company

    Board member, August 2018- May 2020


    Served as an independent Board member to Anterix, previously pdvWireless, a publicly traded company.

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    SHLB Coalition

    Coalition of Schools, Libraries and Healthcare providers working on broadband policy

    Board Member (2017-2020, 2023) and Chairwoman (2021-2022)

    January 2017 - December 2023


    Volunteered to serve on the Board of SHLB Coalition to advance broadband infrastructure in schools, libraries and rural healthcare facilities for digital equity and access. Served as Chairwoman for two years, during the COVID-19 pandemic years.


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    Sidecar Technologies

    Key regulatory counsel to one of the first three Transportation Network Companies in the nation.

    Senior Regulatory Counsel 

    February 2015 – December 2015



    Responsible for regulatory relations with state agencies, local agencies and airports.

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    California Asian Chamber of Commerce

    Small Business Policy Organization

    Board Member 

    May 2011 – 2020


    Board member for California Asian Chamber of Commerce, headquartered in Sacramento, California. The CalAsian chamber represents 400,000 small businesses owned by Asian Americans in California.

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    Federal Communications Bar Association, Northern California Chapter

    Association of federal communications counsel


    Jan 2010 – Dec 2015



    Planned quarterly programs with two co-chairs in the telecommunications, broadcast, broadband, wireless policy areas.

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    California Emerging Technology Fund

    Non profit organization dedicated to closing the Digital Divide

    Special Counsel; former Chair, Board of Experts

    2006 – 2022



    Chair of Board of Experts (2006-2013) for non profit organization formed by California Public Utilities Commission. Outside Special Counsel from 2014-2022. A non profit organization established by the CPUC, CETF is dedicated to bringing broadband access and adoption to all of California.

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    Sidecar Technologies

    Ridesharing provider - one of original three companies

    Interim General Counsel 

    Jun 2014 – Jan 2015


    Represented Transportation Network Company and oversaw all legal, regulatory, policy, insurance, and strategy as Interim General Counsel during time when TNCs as legal entities under CA , Seattle, D.C. and Chicago regulatory law were established.

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    Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area

    Mentoring non profit

    Board Member 

    Jun 2012 – Jul 2014



    Board member to San Francisco non profit organization that provides mentoring from Big Brothers and Big Sisters to at risk youth, ages 6-16. We inspire our children to stay in school and have positive social relationships. On the board, I served on the 2013 Gala Committee, helping deliver our most successful Gala to date in terms of fund raising. I also serve on the Development Committee.

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    tech newsletter


    Jan 2013 – Jun 2014



    Columnist at Techwire.net covering federal policy relating to broadband, telecommunications and the Internet. Also covers the start up tech scene in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, with emphasis on the Internet, communications, and energy.

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    Comcast, West Region

    Largest cable TV, broadband, voice and home security provider in the US

    Vice President, Government Affairs, California Region 

    May 2011 – Jan 2013



    Led California Government Affairs team of twelve for California Region for Comcast. Responsibilities include representing Comcast at the California Public Utilities Commission, California Energy Commission, California State Legislature, and local franchise authorities, plus all Comcast community development investment.

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    Bay Area Council

    Policy Association

    Board member 

    May 2011 – Dec 2012



    Board member to Bay Area Council, a business-sponsored public policy advocacy organization for the nine-county Bay Area. The Council advocates for a strong economy, a vital business environment, and a better quality of life for everyone who lives here. 275 of the largest employers in the region support the Bay Area Council.

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    California Technology Agency

    State CIO office

    Special Counsel, Advanced Information & Communications Technologies 

    Dec 2009 – Apr 2011



    I led work on issues relating to broadband, telehealth, Next Generation 9-1-1, public safety communications, digital literacy, smart grid, health information exchange, and electronic medical records.

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    California Telehealth Network

    Telehealth network serving rural health care providers

    Secretary, Member of the Board 

    2007 – Apr 2011


    Assisted in writing FCC application for grant that formed largest telehealth network in the nation for a state. Served as Secretary and Member of the Board representing CPUC in 2007-2009. In 2015-2016, represented CTN as outside Regulatory Counsel.


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    California Public Utilities Commission

    State constitutional agency


    Jan 2006 – Dec 2009



    The CPUC regulates privately owned telecommunications, electric, natural gas, water, railroad, passenger transportation companies, including authorizing statewide video franchises. The five commissioners are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. Led most of the telecommunications and broadband work, and energy dockets for smart grid, electric vehicles, and demand response.

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    National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners

    Association for state utility commissioners and their professional staff

    Telecommunications Committee 

    Jan 2006 – Dec 2009


    Leading member of National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) Committee on Telecommunications. The Telecommunications Committee provides a critical venue for State utility commissioners to analyze trends and share best practices. The Committee works closely with the Federal Communications Commission, 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.

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    California Broadband Task Force

    Governor's Appointee to California Broadband Task Force


    2006 – Jan 2008



    The California Broadband Task Force was formed by Governor Schwarzenegger to study barriers to deployment of broadband in California in late 2006. The 16 member blue ribbon task force was appointed by the Governor. The Task Force issued a report in January 2008 with recommendations to the Governor. As a CPUC Commissioner, I put into action many of the recommendations by the Task Force.

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    Authorize.net formerly Lightbridge, Inc.

    Company specializing in online payment solutions


    2000 – 2007



    Independent Director for Lightbridge, Inc., which became Authorize.net. Served on audit committee and chaired compensation committee.

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    Association of Public Television Stations

    Policy association representing public television stations


    2001 – 2006



    Served as trustee for Association of Public Television Stations (APTS). The APTS is a nonprofit membership organization whose mission is to conduct – in concert with member stations – advocacy, planning, research and communications activities in order to achieve strong and financially sound noncommercial television and advanced digital services for the American people. My role was to assist in regulatory strategies before the FCC and the US Congress to ensure sustainability of the members in the face of great change in broadcasting regulation and technology.

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    Broadband Office, Inc.

    Start up Carrier Providing Broadband, Voice and Other Apps to Large Commercial Buildings

    General Counsel and VP Government Affairs 

    Jan 2000 – May 2001



    Led all legal and regulatory efforts of this start-up carrier of IP-enabled voice and Internet services to large commercial buildings, funded by Kleiner Perkins and large REITS. Supervised team of 14 lawyers and all outside counsel to handle all regulatory, real estate, HR and labor matters in 15 states.

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    Corsair Communications

    Wireless Tech Company


    1998 – 2000



    Independent Board Member for start up company developing back office systems for wireless phone companies. Served on Audit Committee, and actively led CEO salary negotiations..

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    Coudert Brothers


    Jan 1998 – Dec 1999



    Regulatory practice before California Public Utilities Commission and Federal Communications Commission. Represented telecommunications and Internet companies, with particular emphasis on international clients.

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    Federal Communications Commission

    Federal Agency


    May 1994 – Nov 1997



    Appointed by President Clinton to the 5-member FCC in May 1994. This seat is confirmed by the US Senate. Served from1994-1997. Major decisions before the FCC during this era included the first wireless auctions, launch of several wireless services, finalization of digital TV transition rules, implementation of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and children's television rules.

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    Graham & James

    San Francisco International Law Firm


    Sep 1987 – Apr 1994



    Regulatory law practice before the California Public Utilities Commission and Federal Communications Commission representing primarily telecommunications clients, including four major wireless carriers and paging companies.

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    Kadison Pfaelzer Woodard Quinn & Rossi

    Telecom and Energy Law Firm


    Sep 1984 – Aug 1987



    Represented primarily broadcaster and telecommunications clients at Washington, D.C. based law firm. Also worked in energy area before the FERC.



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    UC College of the Law, San Francisco


    San Francisco

    JD Law 1981 - 1984


    Activities: Editor in Chief, Comm/Ent Law Journal; Vice President, Associated Students of Hastings.

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    University of California, Berkeley


    BS Political Science and Journalism 1977 - 1981



    Activities: Phi Beta Kappa.


    Contact me for strategic consulting, legal services and speaking engagements

    345 West Portal Ave. Suite 110
    San Francisco, CA 94127
    314 Center Street, #209
    Healdsburg, CA 95448
    (415) 735-0378

    Never give up.