Telecom Business Alert -- Vol. VIII Issue 15

Date: Apr 11, 2011

FCC Pole Attachment Order Slams Electric Utilities

The FCC's long-awaited Order in the Pole Attachment proceeding was released last Thursday. FCC Commissioners congratulated themselves for speeding broadband access and saving communications attachers hundreds of millions of dollars per year, but electric utilities and their ratepayers are slated to pay 100% of those "savings," and the new make-ready deadlines may well sacrifice electric utility safety and efficiency. Troublesome, far-reaching questions also are raised by the Commission's first-time-ever decision to assert jurisdiction over joint use by allowing ILECs to file complaints at the FCC of "unjust and unreasonable" rates, terms and conditions due to their alleged "inferior bargaining position" with electric utilities.

Keller and Heckman LLP Partner Tom Magee conducted a complimentary one-hour conference call on Friday to provide his initial reactions to the Order. More than 200 electric utility representatives attended the call. Tom also discusses the FCC's Public Notice in this proceeding in this week's Video Minute: http://www.khlaw.com/shownews.aspx?show=4421. Finally, last Friday's Communications Daily reported on the Order and provided industry reactions. A copy is available here with permission of Warren Publishing. 

New Proposed Rules Support Consumer Signal Boosters


A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking released by the Commission last Wednesday seeks comment on rules that would authorize the use of fixed and mobile signal boosters for use in conjunction with commercial cellular systems. Signal boosters are used to inexpensively fill gaps in wireless coverage, for example, inside large buildings and in rural areas. Over objections from the wireless carriers, the Commission's rules would allow customers and building operators to install and operate signal boosters to extend commercial wireless coverage. In addition, under certain conditions persons other than licensees may install and operate signal boosters to extend coverage of private land mobile radio (PLMR) systems. For more information, contact K&H attorneys Doug Jarrett (Jarrett@khlaw.com; 202.434.4180) or Wes Wright (wright@Khlaw.com; 202.434.4296).

TOMORROW: K&H/NRTC Narrowbanding Webinar

On Tuesday, April 12, from 2:00-3:00 p.m. Eastern, Greg Kunkle of Keller and Heckman LLP will be joining his client, the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative ("NRTC"), to present a Webinar on the FCC's upcoming Narrowbanding requirements. The Webinar will outline regulatory requirements, timelines and other considerations necessary for compliance with the new rules. To register, click here.

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