Telecom Business Alert -- Vol. IX Issue 22

Date: May 29, 2012

NTIA Asks FCC to Terminate Licenses of Early 700 MHz Waiver Recipients

Earlier this month, NTIA submitted comments claiming that the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, which allocated the 700 MHz D Block (758-763/788-793 MHz) and public safety broadband spectrum (763-768/793-798 MHz) to FirstNet, requires the FCC to terminate the licenses it granted previously to several government agencies for the construction of networks on the public safety broadband spectrum. In May 2010, the FCC granted 21 waiver requests filed by public safety agencies seeking to deploy statewide or local broadband networks on the public safety broadband spectrum. NTIA argued that the legislation requires a nationwide network based on a single national design and made no provision for various systems being built under waiver. FirstNet is an independent authority to be formed within NTIA to oversee the construction and operation of the network. Please contact Doug Jarrett (202.434.4180; jarrett@khlaw.com) with questions.

Narrowbanding Policy Adopted by Frequency Coordinators

Last week, the Land Mobile Communications Council ("LMCC"), which includes every FCC-certified frequency coordinator, filed a letter with the FCC announcing a procedure that will be followed by all coordinators with respect to systems that do not comply with the FCC's upcoming narrowbanding requirements. As of February 1, 2013, non-compliant wideband systems (effectively 25 kHz analog voice systems) in the 150-470 MHz bands will not be considered by frequency coordinators for purposes of identifying frequency assignments available for use by land mobile applicants unless the license has a pending modification application to comply with the narrowbanding rules or a pending or granted waiver request seeking an extension of the narrowbanding deadline. Please contact Wes Wright (202.434.4296; wright@khlaw.com) with questions.

Senate Cybersecurity Vote expected in June

Several bills regarding cybersecurity issues remain pending. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) plans to bring a cybersecurity bill to the Senate floor for a vote in June, according to press reports. The Cybersecurity Act is favored by many Democrats and would authorize the Department of Homeland Security Secretary to develop and enforce new cybersecurity regulations for the critical infrastructure industry. The SECURE IT Act, by contrast, would promote voluntary information sharing between the private sector and government on cyber threats, but would not alter the current regulatory regime. On April 26, the House passed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), which the White House has threatened to veto in favor of the Cybersecurity Act. Privacy groups also raised concerns about the broad definition of consumer data that could be shared with the government under CISPA. Please contact Tracy Marshall (202.434.4234; marshall@khlaw.com) with questions about the legislation or cybersecurity issues.

Cable Operator WiFi Attachments

Several cable operators announced last week that they will begin sharing each other's WiFi Hot Spots in the next several months. There are currently 50,000 Hot Spots in New York, Philadelphia, Tampa and Los Angeles, and cable companies have expressed interest in creating Hot Spots in other locations, requiring the use of electric utility pole distribution systems to affix cable WiFi antennas. For additional information, please contact Tom Magee (magee@khlaw.com; 202-434-4128).

Keller and Heckman UTC iPad Drawing Winner: Todd Oney

Last week, Keller and Heckman held a drawing for an iPad 3 at the Utilities Telecom Council ("UTC") conference in Orlando. Of the many visitors to the Keller and Heckman booth who entered the drawing, we are pleased to announce that Todd Oney, Power Systems Communications Specialist at Nashville Electric Service, is the winner!

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