Telecom Business Alert -- Vol. VIII Issue 41

Date: Oct 11, 2011

LightSquared Claims GPS Interference Caused by Ignored Standards


In a letter filed with the FCC last week, LightSquared claimed GPS manufacturers ignored government standards adopted by the Defense Department in developing GPS receivers. By ignoring these standards, LightSquared asserts that GPS receivers receive signals from the adjacent frequency band licensed to LightSqaured and these signals result in interference to GPS devices. While the GPS industry has expressed concerns that LightSquared's operations interfere with GPS receivers, LightSquared asserts GPS receivers are not entitled to protection from interference from neighboring bands. The company has reportedly threatened legal action if the FCC does not approve the proposed network after the latest round of testing is concluded. The current testing was required by a  Public Notice issued by the FCC last month. For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (202.434.4178; kunkle@khlaw.com).

DC Circuit Will Hear Challenges to FCC Net Neutrality Rules

By lottery held last week and consistent with Verizon's legal strategy, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit was selected as the court to rule on the petitions to review the FCC's Net Neutrality Order. The rules adopted in this Order are due to take effect on November 20. (Vol. VIII, Issue 40). Several years ago, the D.C. Circuit struck down the FCC's Comcast/BitTorrent decision and questioned the FCC's authority to regulate Internet access service. Net neutrality proponents had filed petitions for review with other courts, looking for a more sympathetic forum. For more information, please contact Doug Jarrett (202.434.4180; jarrett@khlaw.com).

FCC's USF Reform Proposal Redirects Funds to Broadband


Last week, the FCC announced it would be issuing an order reforming the Universal Service Fund ("USF"), principally by redirecting some funds from POTS to broadband infrastructure and services in rural areas. Eighteen million Americans are estimated to live in rural areas without access to broadband service. It appears the FCC will replace the current USF program with a broadband-focused Connect America Fund. The extent to which USF and intercarrier compensation will be reformed is expected to be set out in a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking which is tentatively set for adoption by the FCC at its Open Meeting on October 27th. For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (202.434.4178; kunkle@khlaw.com).


What Does the FCC Have Against Critical Infrastructure Companies?

This month's edition of Mission Critical Magazine features an article by Keller and Heckman entitled What does the FCC Have Against Critical-Infrastructure Companies? The article details multiple policy decisions by the FCC that have obstructed electric utilities and oil and gas companies from implementing advanced communications technologies. From spectrum allocations to enforcement actions and almost everything in between, the FCC has focused on consumer-based broadband applications and largely ignored the requirements of critical-infrastructure entities. 

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

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