Pole Attachment Development (August 4, 2004)
FCC Proposes to Require BPL to Comply with CALEA

Date: Aug 04, 2004

The FCC today proposed rules that would require broadband providers, including broadband over power line ("BPL") providers, to comply with the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act ("CALEA"). CALEA requires communications providers to design their systems in a way that facilitates law enforcement requests for wiretapping.

In the rules proposed today, the Commission tentatively concluded that CALEA applies to all types of broadband Internet services, including wireline, cable modem, satellite, wireless, and BPL, and to Voice over Internet Protocol ("VoIP") services. This rulemaking proceeding seeks comment on a number of issues, including:

  • whether the Commission has authority to enforce CALEA rules against non-common carriers (like BPL);
  • compliance solutions by BPL and other broadband Internet access providers;
  • cost recovery issues for carriers;
  • whether standards for packet-mode technologies are deficient; and
  • time frames for compliance.

The imposition of CALEA requirements on BPL providers is particularly burdensome, considering that BPL is a nascent technology with few subscribers to help shoulder the burden of increased costs.

The text of the proposed rule has not yet been released, and the Commission has not yet established filing dates for comments. If you would like additional information about this matter, please contact Tom Magee at 202-434-4128 or magee@khlaw.com.

For additional information regarding pole attachment issues, you may obtain a copy of Keller and Heckman LLP's Pole Attachment White Paper