Telecom Business Alert -- Vol. IX Issue 38

Date: Sep 17, 2012

TA Notifying Licensees of Upcoming 800 MHz Rebanding

The Transition Administrator (TA) has begun reaching out to 800 MHz Licensees to remind them of the upcoming 800 MHz rebanding process along the US-Mexican border. The final phase began after the United States and Mexico signed amended spectrum sharing agreements on June 8 and the Commission released a Fourth Further Notice and Proposed Rule Making on August 17 proposing a new band plan for operations for the US-Mexico border region. This rebanding will affect Licensees operating within 110 kilometers of the US-Mexico border (113 miles). In an effort to conclude the rebanding process, public safety user relocations may occur closer in time to industrial/land transportation relocations rather than the more familiar sequential process. While no immediate action is required, affected Licensees are encouraged to confirm the accuracy of their FCC licenses and begin the planning and negotiating activities required to reconfigure the radio systems. For additional information, please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).

Emerging Trends in Privacy and Data Security Litigation

Privacy and data security are key issues of concern to many electric utilities, oil and gas companies and others in the critical infrastructure community. Last week, Keller and Heckman attorneys released an article, available here, discussing the current U.S. legal landscape in privacy and data security litigation and emerging trends. These cases have arisen primarily from the unauthorized disclosure of personal information in company records or alleged privacy invasions due to the collection, use, and disclosure of information by companies with whom an individual has had contact. In light of these trends, companies should be proactive in embracing best practices to ensure compliance with privacy laws and regulations, and consider whether their practices are transparent, clear, and consistent with consumer expectations.

FCC Considers Comprehensive Review of Satellite Services

The FCC announced its intention to consider a comprehensive review of the rules and procedures for satellite services at the next Open Meeting scheduled for September 28, including a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to reduce the regulatory burdens on satellite operators by streamlining the licensing requirements for new satellite earth stations. For more information, contact Doug Jarrett (Jarrett@khlaw.com; 202.434.4180).

New HazCom Standard

Of particular note to chemical companies, earlier this year OSHA amended its Hazard Communication Standard to incorporate most of the workplace safety elements of the United Nation's Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals ("GHS"). The GHS amendment made substantial changes to requirements governing how chemical importers, manufacturers, distributors and users obtain and transmit hazard information to their employees, contractors and customers. The new rules went into effect on May 25, 2012, with compliance deadlines being phased in over time. Implementation of the GHS rule is particularly important for persons producing or distributing products currently regulated as "hazardous chemicals." Many companies are likely already seeing new and unfamiliar symbols and other chemical hazard information on product labels and safety data sheets. Please contact Larry Halprin (halprin@khlaw.com; 202.434.4177) or Eric Gotting (gotting@khlaw.com; 202.434.4269) with questions or to request a complimentary copy of their webinar explaining the GHS amendment.

Keller and Heckman at Industry Events

Keller and Heckman partner Tom Magee will be attending the Western Energy Institute's Joint Use Conference in Tempe, Arizona, this Thursday, September 20. Mr. Magee will be speaking about the effect of the FCC's new pole attachment rules on the electric industry. For additional information, contact Tom Magee (magee@khlaw.com; 202.434.4128).

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

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