Date: Sep 21, 2009
FCC Chairman Outlines Net Neutrality Plans
Earlier today, the FCC issued a News Release regarding FCC Chairman Julius Genachowksi's proposal to commence a rulemaking proceeding on Net Neutrality. Under the Chairman's proposal, the FCC will propose rules to replace the existing Network Neutrality principles. The proposed rules would prevent Internet access providers from discriminating against particular Internet content or applications, while allowing for reasonable network management. The proposal also would require Internet access providers' network management practices to be open and transparent. A formal Notice of Proposed Rulemaking ("NPRM") is expected to be introduced at the FCC's October Open Meeting.
FCC Cracking Down on Untimely Microwave Renewal Filings
During September, the FCC released several Orders denying late-filed microwave license renewal applications. The FCC's rules require licensees to file renewal applications no later than the license expiration date. Absent a timely renewal application licenses automatically terminate. The Commission's policy has been to allow renewal applications to be filed up to thirty days after the expiration date of the license, but the licensee may be subject to an enforcement action for the untimely filing and for unauthorized operation in the interim. While applications filed more than 30 days late will still considered, the FCC's recent actions indicate that such applications will only be rarely granted and may increase a licensee's enforcement exposure.
FCC Implements Public Safety Point of Contact Recordkeeping
On September 14, 2009, the FCC implemented a change to the Universal Licensing System ("ULS") to collect operational point of contact information from public safety licensees and non-public safety licensees designated as emergency first responders responsible for coordinating with state, county and local authorities during times of emergency. The information, which includes contact name, title, office and mobile telephone number and email address, is intended to enable Commission staff to more effectively provide immediate assistance and outreach to licensees during times of emergency.
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