Telecom Business Alert -- Vol. VII Issue 28

Date: Jul 19, 2010

API Seeks More Spectrum

Keller and Heckman LLP's client, the Telecommunications Subcommittee of the American Petroleum Institute, has urged the Department of Energy to press the FCC for an exclusive allocation of radio spectrum for wireless broadband applications in the oil and natural gas industry. According to API's Comments (click Here for a copy), oil and gas companies are transitioning to next generation communications technology that will provide significant benefits in terms of safety, incident response, effectiveness and efficiency. At the same time, however, API's members find themselves increasingly constrained by the lack of exclusive, licensed spectrum available for higher-speed applications. To advance energy independence and efficiency, API recommended that up to 30 MHz of spectrum be made available for use by the industry. For further information, please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).

Pleading Cycle Established in Pole Attachment Proceeding

The FCC's May 20 Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) in the pole attachment proceeding proposes to radically lower pole attachment rates, to establish make-ready deadlines, to allow attachers to hire make-ready contractors, to introduce onerous new penalties on pole owners, and otherwise to make it easier and cheaper for communications companies to access utility poles, mostly at the expense of utility pole owners. The due date for Comments on the FNPRM have now been set at August 16, 2010 with September 13, 2010 for Reply Comments. We invite other electric utilities to join our Coalition of Concerned Utilities (Allegheny Power, Baltimore Gas and Electric, Dayton Power and Light, FirstEnergy, National Grid, NSTAR, PPL Electric Utilities, SD Electric Utilities, and Wisconsin Public Service) in fighting these proposals. For more information, please contact Tom Magee (magee@khlaw.com; 202.434.4128).

PSHSB Chief Barnett and Partner Doug Jarrett Debate the 700 MHz Upper D Block Auction

Keller and Heckman LLP partner, Doug Jarrett, and James Barnett, Chief of the FCC's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, present opposing viewpoints on the contemplated D Block auction in the July 14, 2010 edition of MissionCritical. The D-Block is 10 MHz of spectrum in the Upper 700 MHz Band, directly adjacent to Public Safety's 10 MHz broadband spectrum that is licensed to PSST. Mr. Jarrett advocates allocating the D block to public safety, consistent with the original public/private partnership as designed by the FCC and the public-safety community several years ago. Supporting an auction of the D Block spectrum, Bureau Chief Barnett emphasizes that proceeds from the auctions are needed to jumpstart the construction of the nationwide broadband public safety network. Click here to view the articles. For more information, please contact Doug Jarrett (Jarrett@khlaw.com; 202.434.4180).

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