Telecom Business Alert -- Vol. VI Issue 32

Date: Aug 17, 2009

Volume VI, Issue 32


FTC Defers Enforcement of "Red Flags" Rule until November

On July 29, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it is, again, deferring enforcement of its "Red Flags" Rule until November 1, 2009. The Red Flags Rule pertains to the detection, prevention, and mitigation of identity theft, and applies to "financial institutions" and "creditors" with "covered accounts." The term "creditors" is broadly defined to include utility companies, telecommunications companies, and other entities that regularly extend, renew, or continue credit, regularly arrange for the extension, renewal, or continuation of credit, or regularly defer payment for goods or services or provide goods or services and bill customers later. A "covered account" includes consumer accounts, and small business and sole proprietorship accounts. Non-profit organizations and governmental agencies could also be covered. Having a formal risk-based data security plan to address risks to covered accounts and to other potential instances of identity theft is critical for compliance with the Red Flags Rule and many other data breach notification laws in effect today. To view an article authored by Keller and Heckman attorneys Sheila Millar and Tracy Marshall, available on our website, click here.

Deadline Extended for NTIA and RUS Broadband Funding Applications

Due to high demand, the deadline for filing electronic applications for funding under the Rural Utilities Service Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP) and the NTIA Broadband Telecommunications Opportunities Program (BTOP) has been extended until 5:00 p.m. ET on August 20, 2009. Applicants that started completing an electronic application prior to the original application deadline of August 14, 2009, may complete the application and submit the request by 5:00 p.m. on August 20. Applicants preparing paper applications were required to submit those applications by the original deadline of August 14.

FAA Revises Form 7460-1 to Include New Marking/Lighting Option


The Federal Aviation Administration recently amended the marking/lighting selection on its Form 7460-1 which is used to alert the agency of a proposed construction of or alteration to certain communications towers. The revised Form now allows an applicant to adopt an Audio Visual Warning System (AVWS) as an alternative to the traditional marking and lighting of communications towers. In addition to reflecting this new marking/lighting option, the Form 7460-1 also has been revised to require an applicant submitting a notice to alter an existing structure to identify the current marking/lighting in addition to the requested marking/lighting. 

FCC Continues Broadband Workshops


Last week, the FCC held a series of five workshops focused on broadband deployment and technology as it relates to the Commission's development of a National Broadband Plan. Upcoming workshops will focus on how the Plan can create opportunities for small businesses, enhance Public Safety and Homeland Security and promote the adoption of smart grid communications technology. The workshops are scheduled through mid-September and the FCC will accept comments on the Plan as late as September 11, 2009. Information about upcoming workshops is available here.