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Telecom Business Alert -- Vol. VIII Issue 22

Date: May 31, 2011

Commission Proposes Relaxing Emission Limits for 2.5 GHz Band

On Friday, the FCC released a Fourth Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing to relax the emissions limits for Broadband Radio Service (BRS) and Education Broadband Service (EBS) spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band. BRS licensees argued that relaxed emissions limits would allow them to operate on 20 MHz channels, increasing speed and efficiency, especially for 4G operations. Opposition comments claimed the new rules would increase the potential for interference with mobile satellite users and create voluntary guard bands, decreasing spectrum efficiency. Comments will be due 30 days after publication of the NPRM in the Federal Register. Text of the NPRM can be found here.

House or Representatives Schedules Hearing on GRID Act

The House of Representatives has scheduled a May 31st hearing to focus on the Grid Reliability and Infrastructure Defense ("GRID") Act. According to the draft bill, the GRID Act would amend the Federal Power Act to protect against cyber-attacks and other threats and vulnerabilities the bulk-power system and electric infrastructure critical to the defense of the United States. The bill would give emergency authority of the bulk-power system to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in the event of an imminent threat and would establish a program at the Department of Energy to develop technical expertise in the protection of the grid against various threats. The Senate version of the bill underwent mark-up last week and may quickly move to the floor. Text of the discussion draft of the bill can be found here.

New FCC Fee Schedule to Take Effect June 21st

The FCC released a Public Notice on Monday announcing revisions to the application fees for Fiscal Year 2011, effective June 21, 2011. The Commission increases fees every two years to keep pace with the Consumer Price Index - Urban, which reported a 3.5% increase over the applicable time period. Most land mobile application fees will remain at $60, with rule waiver fees rising $5 to $180. The fee for most microwave applications will increase from $260 to $270. The Commission's Order released March 3rd, which contains the full revised fee schedule, can be found here.

K&H Video Minute: On the Road at ENTELEC 2011

Most of Keller and Heckman's telecommunications group spent the week in Houston, Texas at the 2011 ENTELEC Conference and Expo. K&H moderated a panel of other K&H attorneys during the annual Washington Report, which highlighted regulatory and legislative issues facing energy companies and other critical infrastructure entities. This week's Video Minute features a clip recorded live from the Washington Report, in which attorney Greg Kunkle discusses issues surrounding intrinsically safe radio equipment. For this week's Video Minute, click here

Webinar: "Spectrum Availability for Next Generation Critical Infrastructure Communications"

On June 14, Keller and Heckman LLP attorneys will present a webinar entitled "Spectrum Availability for Next Generation Critical Infrastructure Communications". Smart grid, positive train control, and high speed SCADA are among the next generation technologies that critical infrastructure industries are seeking to implement, and they all require radio spectrum. With the FCC largely ignoring these spectrum needs, how can CII entities acquire this spectrum? This webinar will discuss spectrum options for CII entities, FCC secondary market rules, and key contractual and due diligence considerations for all types of spectrum acquisitions. For more information or to register, click here.

New Updates on the Beyond Telecom Law Blog

Keller and Heckman's Beyond Telecom Law blog has been active over the past month, posting new articles weekly that focus on Wireline and Wireless services agreements, privacy and cyber security, and telecom policy issues. To visit the Beyond Telecom Law blog, click here, and don't forget to add the page to your bookmarks and RSS feeds.