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Telecom Business Alert -- Vol. VI Issue 47

Date: Nov 30, 2009

FCC Public Notice Seeks Comment on Broadband Services

The Commission issued a Public Notice last week to gather information on fixed residential and small business internet broadband services and the transparency of fixed services available to residents of multi-unit buildings. The Public Notice relates to a Notice of Inquiry adopted earlier this year seeking comment on how to protect consumers by ensuring they receive sufficient access to relevant information about communications services. The Public Notice asks what information providers should disclose to new and existing customers to ensure they have sufficient information to make an educated decision when choosing a broadband service plan. The FCC also asks how information concerning the fixed services capabilities of multi-unit residential buildings should be communicated to potential investors, owners and renters at the point of sale or rental. Comments must be filed with the Commission by December 14, 2009. The text of the Public Notice is available by clicking here.

DOE Holds Smart Grid Investment Grant Kickoff Meetings

The Department of Energy (DOE) held a kickoff meeting for its smart grid investment grant recipients earlier this month. The 100 recipients, including private companies, utilities, manufacturers and cities, received a total of $3.4 billion in grants to aid in the deployment of smart grid systems and technologies. The primary purpose of the meeting with DOE staff was to elaborate on specific project requirements and expectations, including reporting and cybersecurity requirements recipients must follow. The DOE presentations from the meeting are available by clicking here.

FCC Meetings Focus on Broadband

The FCC held a field hearing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology today focusing on how broadband can help the nation achieve its energy and environmental goals, including energy independence, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and generating clean energy. This field hearing is part of a series of hearings convened by the Commission as it prepares the National Broadband Plan, which will address broadband deployment, adoption, affordability, and the use of broadband to solve national priorities. The Commission will also focus on the National Broadband Plan at its final Open Meeting of the year, which is scheduled for Wednesday, December 16. The sole item on the Open Meeting agenda is a status report on the development of the Plan, which must delivered to Congress by February 17, 2010. The tentative Open Meeting agenda is available by clicking here.

FCC Enforcement Bureau Continues to Penalize Rule Violations

The FCC's Enforcement Bureau continues to penalize licensees for various infractions of the Commission's rules and policies. For example, last month the Commission issued a Forfeiture Order for $1,500 to an antenna structure owner for failing to display the Antenna Structure Registration number in a conspicuous place so that it is readily visible near the base of the structure. For more information about the Commission's enforcement procedures, common enforcement actions and recommended steps to promote compliance with the Commission's rules, please see Keller and Heckman LLP's Special Enforcement Alert.

Keller and Heckman LLP Continues Twitter Service

Receive regular updates on telecommunications law and policy developments throughout the week via Keller and Heckman LLP's Twitter account at http://twitter.com/KHTelecom.