Telecom Business Alert -- Vol. VIII Issue 25

Date: Jun 20, 2011

FCC Pre-Hearing Conference Held on MCLM Hearing Designation Order

On June 15, the FCC held a pre-hearing conference to finalize a schedule for discovery and adopt other deadlines in the proceeding stemming from the Order to Show Cause and Hearing Designation Order ("HDO") issued to Maritime Communications/Land Mobile LLC ("MCLM") on April 20. The FCC issued the HDO to determine whether MCLM is qualified to be and remain a Commission licensee, and whether its FCC licenses should be revoked and, as a result, its pending assignment applications denied. The HDO alleges, among other things, that MCLM repeatedly misrepresented its status, lacked candor with the Commission, and improperly secured a $2.8 million bidding credit as part of Auction 61. Keller and Heckman LLP is representing a number of electric utilities and oil and gas companies in the Hearing as a result of still-pending assignment applications to acquire a portion of MCLM's spectrum. 

Concerned Utilities Intervene in D.C. Circuit Pole Attachment Case

In addition to its earlier Petition for Reconsideration at the FCC contesting a host of operational issues, the Coalition of Concerned Utilities (Consumers Energy, Detroit Edison, FirstEnergy Corp., Hawaiian Electric, NSTAR, Pepco Holdings, Inc. and Xcel Energy), represented by K&H, has filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit a Motion to Intervene in the pending appeal the FCC's April 7 Pole Attachment Order. The Coalition will ask the court to overturn the FCC's decisions to assert jurisdiction over ILEC attachments and to lower the Telecom attachment rate, among other things. For an update on this proceeding, see this week's Video Minute (below) or contact Tom Magee (<a title="mailto:magee@khlaw.com blocked::mailto:magee@khlaw.com" href="mailto:magee@khlaw.com">magee@khlaw.com).

LightSquared Report Deadline Extended

Last week, the FCC extended a June 15 deadline for mobile satellite provider LightSquared to file its final working group report analyzing the impact of its terrestrial operations on adjacent band GPS downlinks. In its extension request, LightSquared asked for more time to finalize the report, stating it had to conduct more tests than expected. The extension request, which was filed shortly before LightSquared announced a deal with Sprint to jointly develop and operate a 4G network with Sprint Nextel, heightened speculation that LightSquared's potential interference to GPS networks may be more severe than the company had initially thought. LightSquared's final report is now due July 1. For the June 6 Telecom Alert containing more background on the LightSquared/GPS issue, click here.

White House Issues Report on Smart Grid

On Monday, the White House released a report from the National Science and Technology Council establishing a policy framework for Smart Grid development in the United States. In addition to sections on encouraging cost-effective investment and technological innovations, a significant portion of the report focused on security and privacy initiatives to ensure that both consumer data and the grid itself will be protected from malicious actors. Alongside the report, the White House announced another $250 million in loans for Smart Grid development, to be granted by the Department of Agriculture's Rural Utility Service. For the full text of the report, click here.

K&H Video Minute: Tom Magee on Pole Attachment Legal Developments

The Coalition of Concerned Utilities continues to fight the onerous rules imposed by the FCC's April 7 Pole Attachment Order. In this week's Video Minute, Keller and Heckman partner Tom Magee discusses the recent legal developments in the matter, including the Coalition's efforts to contest the Order both at the Commission and in the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. For this week's Video Minute, click here.

Register Today for Our Upcoming Webinar on Protecting Data and Managing Data Breaches

Join Keller and Heckman LLP attorneys Sheila Millar and Tracy Marshall on Thursday, June 30, from 11 to 12:30 EST for a webinar on Best Practices for Protecting Data and Managing Data Breaches. The webinar will discuss recent data breaches, state data breach notification laws, pending federal legislation, and best practices for breach management and data security. This is the fourth of our six-part webinar series, "The Privacy Playbook: A Practical Guide for Businesses." Future webinars will focus on privacy enforcement and lawsuits (July 14) and issues surrounding implementation of the smart grid and other technologies (July 28). For more information or to register, click here.

New Updates on the Beyond Telecom Law Blog

Keller and Heckman's Beyond Telecom Law blog continues to post 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.

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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.

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