Telecom Business Alert -- Vol. VIII Issue 20

Date: May 16, 2011

FCC Commissioner Baker To Step Down, Take Job At Comcast

FCC Commissioner Meredith Atwell Baker (R) announced on May 11th that she will be leaving the Commission, effective June 3, 2011. Ms. Baker is leaving the post for a lobbying position for Comcast, as senior vice president of government affairs for its NBCUniversal division. She has served as a Commissioner since July 31st, 2009. Previously, Ms. Baker was at NTIA, deeply involved in the digital television transition. In light of Commissioner Michael Copps' (D) stated plans to leave the Commission by the end of the year, the Obama Administration likely is vetting Democratic and Republican candidates, respectively, for these two Commissioner vacancies.

Senator Rockefeller Introduces Data Privacy Bill

Consistent with recent reports in the Telecom Alert, Senator Jay Rockefeller, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, introduced a bill last week to give consumers more control over their personal information. The Do-Not-Track Online Act of 2011 would require the Federal Trade Commission to develop a mechanism for individuals to opt-out of tracking online and on mobile devices. This legislation and other recent developments will be discussed at an upcoming webinar conducted by Keller and Heckman attorneys on "The Privacy Legal Landscape." More information on the webinar appears below.

Reports Predict Major Increase In Electric Vehicle Use – Will The Smart Grid Be Ready?

Two reports released this month point to a rise in electric vehicle use as one of the next decade's most pressing demands on the power grid. Both the Utilities Telecom Council and Ontario's Smart Grid Forum issued reports calling for infrastructure improvements to accommodate the stress on the power grid that could be caused by a large number of electric vehicle owners charging their vehicles at night. The UTC report predicts a 1700% increase in energy demand from electric vehicles over the next ten years, noting that without smart grid improvements to manage the demand brownouts and other grid problems could be created.

Deadline Approaching on Pole Attachment Order Reconsideration

The filing date for Petitions for Reconsideration of the FCC's recently-released Pole Attachment Order is June 8th. Keller and Heckman LLP is assembling a Coalition of investor-owned utilities to fight this Order by filing a Petition for Reconsideration. If you are interested in learning more about this Coalition, please contact Tom Magee (magee@khlaw.com; 202-434-4128).


Keller and Heckman at ENTELEC 2011 Conference and Expo: Complimentary Exhibit Hall Pass

Keller and Heckman LLP attorneys Doug Jarrett, Greg Kunkle, Tracy Marshall and Wes Wright will be attending the ENTELEC 2011 Conference and Expo in Houston, TX, May 24-26. Keller and Heckman is sponsoring a Continental Breakfast at 8 AM on Thursday, May 26, immediately followed by a presentation of the annual Washington Report  of the General Counsel of ENTELEC. As part of the Washington Report, all of the K&H attorneys attending the meeting will discuss in "Q&A" format the latest FCC activities. Attached to this week's Telecom Alert is a complimentary pass, courtesy of ENTELEC, for free admission to the Exhibit Hall. Click here to download the pass .  Please stop by Keller and Heckman LLP booth #222 to visit and discuss telecom issues.

Privacy and Data Security Webinar Series Begins This Thursday

Join Keller and Heckman LLP attorneys for a six-part webinar series, "The Privacy Playbook: A Practical Guide for Businesses." The first webinar, "The Privacy Legal Landscape," will be this Thursday, May 19, 11-12:30 EST. Other webinars will focus on building privacy into advertising and marketing, employment considerations, protecting data and managing breaches, privacy enforcement and lawsuits, and issues surrounding implementation of the smart grid and other technologies.

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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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