Telecom Business Alert -- Vol. VII Issue 50

Date: Dec 20, 2010

FCC Open Meeting Set to Discuss Net Neutrality, Next-Gen 9-1-1


The Federal Communications Committee will hold an open meeting on Tuesday, December 21st to vote on Chairman Julius Genachowski's net neutrality Order. The Order is one of only two items on the FCC's docket; the other is a Notice of Inquiry on the transition from the current voice-only 9-1-1 system to a "broadband enabled, next generation" system for 9-1-1 that would integrate text messaging and multimedia into the system. The meeting will take place at 10:30 AM EST and can be watched live online at http://reboot.fcc.gov/live/.

Walden Named Communications Chair; Upton Creates Subcommittee on Energy and Power

Leadership of the Commerce Committee came into sharper focus last week as House Republicans elected the chairmen and vice chairmen for Chairman-elect Fred Upton's subcommittees. North Carolina's Sue Myrick was elected vice chairman of the full committee, with Texas' Joe Barton as chairman emeritus; Democrat Henry Waxman from California was previously named the ranking minority member. The Communications subcommittee will be headed by Oregon's Greg Walden and vice chaired by Lee Terry of Nebraska. Upton also chose to split the Energy and Environment Subcommittee into two subcommittees: one focusing on energy and power issues and the other exclusively on the environment. The new Energy subcommittee will be led by Kentucky's Ed Whitfield with John Sullivan of Oklahoma as his vice chairman.

FCC Enforcement Bureau Continues To Aggressively 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 week Delta Airlines entered into a Consent Decree wherein it agreed to pay $35,000 and participate in a compliance plan to terminate an Enforcement Bureau investigation. The investigation focused on whether Delta had obtained the proper consent from the FCC for the acquisition of a number of private land mobile licenses that belonged to Northwest Airlines when Northwest merged with Delta in 2008. For additional information on the Commission's enforcement procedures, please contact Wes Wright (202.434.4296; wright@khlaw.com), or see the Keller and Heckman Special Enforcement Alert.

700 MHz Spectrum Auction Announced

On Wednesday, the FCC announced an auction of spectrum in the 700 MHz band to take place starting July 19, 2011. The auction contains 16 licenses in the A and B blocks of the band; geographic areas served by the spectrum include Puerto Rico, North Dakota, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. The licenses are all for blocks that were unsold or unpaid for in the FCC's Auction 73 in 2008. Comments on bidding procedures for the auction are due on January 12, 2011.

K&H Video Minute: Happy Holidays!

Keller and Heckman will not publish the Telecom Business Alert on December 27th. On behalf of all of us at Keller and Heckman, have a safe and wonderful holiday season! Our telecom family wishes your family all the best at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GcL1t9SvsvY. If you'd like to catch up on telecom issues over the holidays, our previous Video Minutes are online: Discussing narrowbanding deadlines at http://www.khlaw.com/shownews.aspx?Show=4152, and Partner Tom Magee talks pole attachment issues at http://www.khlaw.com/shownews.aspx?show=4162. In addition, all of our previous Telecom Business Alerts can be found (and searched) at http://www.khlaw.com/Publications.aspx.

Send Us Your Feedback

In an attempt to address in our weekly Telecom Business Alert the issues of most importance to the clients and friends of Keller and Heckman LLP, we invite you to submit suggestions on topics of interest to you. To make suggestions, please send an e-mail to TelecomAlert@khlaw.com.

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.

To sign up for our weekly alert, please send us an email at TelecomAlert@khlaw.com and provide us with your name and email.