Telecom Business Alert -- Vol. VII Issue 49

Date: Dec 13, 2010

Upton Named Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman


Key legislative positions affecting the telecommunications industry started falling into place last week as the House Energy and Commerce Committee and its various subcommittees negotiated their chairmanships. On Wednesday, Michigan Republican Fred Upton was named to lead the full committee. While Upton has stated that his top priority is repealing this year's healthcare bill, he has also advocated an "all of the above" energy policy focusing on a variety of energy options. Upton issued a sharp rebuke to President Obama's administration in a statement following his victory, saying "they will not be allowed to regulate what they have been unable to legislate." It is expected that Upton will name a Communications Subcommittee chairman sometime this week, with Oregon Republican Greg Walden considered a frontrunner for the position.

FCC Registration System Begins Revamp

In an effort to streamline registration procedures, last week the FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on possible changes to CORES, the Commission Registration System. The changes focus on making the system more efficient and user-friendly. The FCC proposes consolidating licensees' registration numbers ("FRNs"), letting them have subaccounts to represent related corporations, and possibly attaching FRNs to a user ID for ease of use. The proposed rulemaking would also require users to furnish an e-mail address. Also, the FCC is seeking to provide financial and administrative notices through CORES, integrate Form 499 data, and place important user information on a "dashboard" that would appear after logging into the system.

Concerned Utilities Featured in Washington Post

K&H attorney Tom Magee, representing the Coalition of Concerned Utilities (Allegheny Power, Baltimore Gas and Electric, Dayton Power and Light, FirstEnergy, National Grid, NSTAR, PPL Electric Utilities, South Dakota Electric Utilities and Wisconsin Public Service), wrote an article published Saturday in the Washington Post responding to attacks on Pepco for recent power outages. The article explains how the FCC's misguided attempt to promote broadband with low pole attachment rents and rigid access requirements will make matters worse for utilities in their efforts to keep the power on. The article can be seen at: http://www.khlaw.com/Files/9017_Washington%20Post%20Letter%20to%20the%20Editor2.pdf

For more information, please contact Tom (magee@khlaw.com; 202-434-4128).

K&H Telecom Minute: FCC Pole Attachment Proceeding

In the second of a series of brief videos discussing a telecommunications issue of interest to clients and friends of Keller and Heckman llp, Partner Tom Magee summarizes a recent ex parte presentation at the FCC in the Pole Attachment proceeding. Tom moderated the two and a half hour presentation by 11 different electric utilities. For his five minute summary of the meeting, click here: http://www.khlaw.com/shownews.aspx?show=4162

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Keller and Heckman LLP's Telecom Business Alert is a complimentary weekly electronic update created by the Telecommunications and the Business Counseling and Transactional practice groups of Keller and Heckman LLP.

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