Telecom Business Alert - Drone Exemptions, Signal Booster Petitions, Rural Broadband Workshop Re-scheduled, FCC Open Meeting, and Tower Safety Concerns - Volume XI, Issue 39

Date: Sep 29, 2014

September 29, 2014, Volume XI, Issue 39

Drone Exemptions, Signal Booster Petitions, Rural Broadband Workshop Re-scheduled, FCC Open Meeting, and Tower Safety Concerns

FAA Grants Drone Exemptions

Last week the FAA announced that six aerial photo and video production companies were granted regulatory exemptions to use unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in the National Airspace System for commercial purposes.  In issuing the exemption, the Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx determined that these UAS do not need FAA-issued certificates of airworthiness based on a finding that they do not pose a threat to National Airspace users or national security.  The FAA as of last week, is considering approximately 40 requests for exemptions from other commercial entities.  For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (Kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).

FCC Addresses Signal Booster Petitions

In an Order on Reconsideration and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking released last week, the FCC responded to two Petitions for Reconsideration filed in response to the Report and Order on signal boosters.  The Commission granted the Wi-Ex Petition and amended certain technical rules to streamline the testing procedures for Wideband Consumer Signal Boosters.  The FCC granted the V-COMM, L.L.C., Verizon Wireless, and Wilson Electronics, LLC petition that requested rule amendments to ensure the noise and gain limits of  provider-specific consumer signal boosters for mobile use  are as protective as the limits initially limited to  wideband consumer boosters so as to reduce the likelihood of harmful interference  in the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the FCC  is requesting comment on whether to retain the ‘personal use’ restriction for provider-specific consumer signal boosters.  Comments are due 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.  For more information, please contact Doug Jarrett (Jarrett@khlaw.com; 202.434.4180).

Workshop on Rural Broadband Experiment Bids Rescheduled to October 9 

The FCC workshop originally scheduled for September 29, 2014 for entities interested in securing funding under the FCC’s Rural Broadband Experiments Order has been rescheduled to October 9 at 2:00 p.m. EST.  The deadline for bids and related information has been deferred; the new filing deadline will be announced by the Commission in several weeks.  For more information, please contact Doug Jarrett (jarrett@khlaw.com; 202.434.4180).   

FCC Open Meeting Will Consider Unlicensed Use

At its next open meeting on September 30, the FCC will consider a notice of proposed rulemaking to revise the rules for unlicensed operations in the TV bands and the new 600 MHz band, including fixed and personal/portable white space devices and unlicensed microphones.  The proposal is intended to allow more efficient unlicensed use without increasing the risk of harmful interference to other users.  For more information, please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239).

Workplace Safety Issues Garner Attention

Earlier this month, the Houston Chronicle published a series of articles focusing on workplace safety issues, including best practices for the workplace and a list of common workplace safety issues.  Executives at many critical infrastructure companies are reviewing internal policies and procedures to ensure Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) standards are met.  One major area of focus relates to worker safety when climbing towers.  The FCC and OSHA have scheduled a joint workshop on October 14th to focus on best practices to ensure climber safety and injury prevention.  Keller and Heckman’s OSHA practice specializes in these sorts of issues.  For more information, please contact David Sarvadi (sarvadi@khlaw.com; 202.434.4249).

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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.  All articles, videos, and quotations are on topics of general interest and do not constitute legal advice for particularized facts.  Keller and Heckman LLP's Telecom Business Alert © 2014.  All rights reserved.  Articles may be copied with attribution.  To sign up for our weekly alert, please send us an email at telecomalert@khlaw.com and provide us with your name and email.  Please follow us on twitter at @KHtelecom.