Telecom Business Alert -- Vol. VII Issue 2

Date: Jan 11, 2010

FCC Seeks Comment on Use of Signal Boosters with Wireless Services Through a Public Notice released on January 6, 2010, the FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau seeks comment on three Petitions for Rulemaking and two Petitions for Declaratory Ruling regarding the proper use of signal boosters on frequencies licensed under Parts 22, 24, 27, and 90 of the FCC Rules. CTIA's Petition for Declaratory Ruling addresses a major concern of wireless carriers: their customers are deploying signal boosters in a variety of environments without the carriers' consent or knowledge. Comments are due by February 5, 2010, and Reply Comments are due by February 22, 2010. To view the Public Notice, click here. FCC Seeks One-Month Extension of Time to File National Broadband Plan Last week, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski asked Congress for a one-month extension of time- until March 17, 2010- to deliver the FCC's final National Broadband Plan (NBP). In his letter to Congress, the Chairman noted the "extraordinary purpose of the task, "unprecedented record," and need for more time to obtain input from key stakeholders and more fully brief FCC Commissioners and the House and Senate Committees on the NBP. The undertaking is substantial; it is not surprising that FCC staff requires more time to complete the NBP and brief all of the Commissioners.

FCC Launches New Website to Advance Agency Reform

The FCC recently announced a new website, www.Reboot.FCC.gov, where the FCC will seek input from the public on ways to improve usability, accessibility, and transparency across the agency. The website will also feature the official FCC blog. Some FCC reform measures include redesign of the www.fcc.gov website, the development of an online clearinghouse for public data, and reform of FCC systems, including the Electronic Comment Filing System, and a new Consolidated Licensing System.

Radio Station Construction Deadlines Should Not Be Overlooked

Persons having recently secured licenses for new stations under Parts 90 and 101 of the FCC's Rules that have not yet constructed these new stations may find it difficult to obtain an extension of time of their coverage/construction deadlines. Licensees that have every intention of constructing their stations, but are concerned that they will not meet the applicable construction deadline, should evaluate their circumstances carefully. Sufficient justification for the failure to meet the construction deadline must be provided, and in some cases, additional supporting documentation may be necessary to secure the desired extension of time to construct. For additional information on strategies for dealing with this issue, please contact a Keller and Heckman Telecommunications Counsel. FCC's Net Neutrality Authority Questioned During Oral Argument Last year, the FCC issued a cease-and-desist order and required Comcast to disclose to subscribers how it plans to manage its Internet traffic. Comcast had throttled BitTorrent software-based media file transfers, arguing the peer-to-peer transfers were absorbing disproportionate levels of its network capacity. The FCC ruled that Comcast's actions violated the FCC's "net neutrality policy." Comcast appealed. During oral argument on January 8, 2010, judges for the D.C. Circuit raised serious questions whether the FCC had the authority to enforce its net neutrality policy. Inasmuch as an adverse ruling could hamstring the FCC's ongoing net neutrality rulemaking proceeding—which is generally viewed as favorable to Internet content companies and unfavorable to Internet backbone providers—FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski issued a statement today emphasizing his belief that "the Commission possesses the legal authority it needs" to adopt and implement its proposed net neutrality rules.

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. Friendly Reminder Please add the Telecom Alert to your "safe sender's" list in e-mail. This will allow the images and text to instantly download and appear.