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Telecom Business Alert -- Vol. VIII Issue 37

Date: Sep 12, 2011

No Action on D-Block Despite September 11th Anniversary

The 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks has passed without legislation providing spectrum and funding for a national broadband public-safety network. Last week, the House Homeland Security Committee held a hearing examining the progress made in implementing the 9/11 Commission's recommendations, which included building a nationwide, interoperable public safety broadband network. In June, the Senate Commerce Committee approved legislation that would allocate the 700 MHz D-Block and funding to public safety for the construction of an interoperable broadband network. This bill will face opposition in the House if it is approved by the Senate because House Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden introduced a bill calling for the D-Block to be auctioned instead of allocated to public safety. Please contact Doug Jarrett (202.434.4180; jarrett@khlaw.com) with questions.

 

Petroleum Industry Highlights Commercial Networks' Problems to FCC

 

Keller and Heckman LLP, on behalf of its client the American Petroleum Institute (API), filed comments with the FCC earlier this month in response to the Commission's Notice of Inquiry regarding the reliability and resiliency of commercial communications networks. API's comments cited serious reliability concerns with commercial networks in the wake of two recent natural disasters: Hurricane Irene and a 5.8-magnitude earthquake on the east coast. These reliability concerns underscore the fact that while the oil and natural gas industry is a significant user of commercial networks for enterprise use, the industry must continue operating private internal systems for the foreseeable future to support core mission critical communications that are used to ensure the safety of life and property. The carriers' trade association, by contrast, claimed commercial networks have performed exceedingly well during times of public emergencies and major catastrophes.

Corporate Counsel Corner: Mergers and Acquisitions Trigger FCC Compliance Obligations

 

The San Francisco Chronicle recently reported that merger and acquisition activity in the U.S. Oil & Gas industry is expected to increase in the next several months. Companies are reminded that Section 310 (d) of the Communications Act requires entities involved in a corporate transaction to secure the FCC's prior consent to assign or transfer an FCC license as part of the deal. Last month, a private wireless licensee agreed to pay $60,000 and implement a Compliance Plan as a result of failing to secure the FCC's prior consent to assign or transfer radio licenses as part of a corporate acquisition. For more information about the FCC's assignment and transfer procedures, please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).

 

Annual FCC Regulatory Fees due September 14th

The FCC announced that regulatory fees for the fiscal year 2011 are due by Wednesday, September 14, 2011. Licensees of certain facilities, such as Satellite Earth Stations, are required to make annual regulatory fee payments. The Commission recently revised its schedule of regulatory fees. For many licensed facilities, like microwave and land mobile systems, the regulatory fees are paid as part of an application fee charged at the time an application for new authority is submitted to the Commission. For questions, please contact Tim Doughty (202.434.4271; doughty@khlaw.com).

 

POLE ATTACHMENT WEBINAR
"Pole Attachment Strategies for Electric Utilities"
2:00-3:30 p.m., EASTERN, Tuesday, October 4, 2011

After years of rulemaking, the FCC this year dramatically revised decades of Pole Attachment regulations. Attaching entities are now making aggressive demands and utilities face significant challenges. Keller and Heckman attorneyTom Magee will share his experience and expertise to help utilities negotiate and operate successfully in the new Pole Attachment environment. Attendance is limited to representatives of electric utilities (operating personnel, in-house counsel, etc.). Register today at: (http://www.khlaw.com/showevent.aspx?Show=4855).

 

"KH Telecom Minute Video Archive" Even though there is not a new Video Minute this week, you can view Keller and Heckman's past Video Minutes at http://www.khlaw.com/Telecommunications. If there is a topic you wish to see covered in a future Video Minute, please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4296).

Don't forget to visit the Beyond Telecom Law Blog! http://www.beyondtelecomlawblog.com

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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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