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Telecom Business Alert - 900 MHz M2M Waiver, CII/FirstNet Partnerships, and New Enforcement Bureau Staff Vol. XI Issue 28

Date: Jul 14, 2014

CII Partnerships with FirstNet

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has advised us that FirstNet is now looking to partner with energy companies and other CII entities on “early builder projects” to help jump-start the buildout of the nationwide public safety broadband network. Many CII entities have hardened infrastructure and other assets that could become part of the network in exchange for cash payments and/or spectrum usage opportunities. To begin negotiations, CII entities may wish to consider reaching out directly to FirstNet or to the State representatives in which their facilities are located. To discuss potential FirstNet partnership opportunities, please contact Al Catalano (Catalano@khlaw.com; 202-434-4207).  

SNG Seeks Waiver for 900 MHz M2M

Last week, the FCC released a Public Notice seeking comment on a request by Spectrum Networks Group, LLC (“SNG”) to license 900 MHz (896-901-935-940 MHz) Business/Industrial channels for a commercial M2M service.  SNG proposes to provide the service solely to Business/Industrial users and requests a waiver because its commercial service is not otherwise authorized on Business/Industrial channels.  Although the prospect of a new M2M service is appealing, SNG’s operations could significantly encumber site-base licensing by oil and gas companies, electric utilities and other Business/Industrial users in the 900 MHz band. For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (Kunkle@khlaw.com; 202-434-4178).

FCC Beefs Up Enforcement Bureau

The former Chief Deputy Attorney General for the State of Maryland joined the FCC last week as the Chief of Staff for the Enforcement Bureau. Katherine Winfree spent almost 20 years as a state and federal prosecutor and has been recognized as the top prosecutor among a group of 350 Assistant U.S. Attorneys.  Travis LeBlanc, Acting Chief of the Enforcement Bureau, stated that Ms. Winfree “brings solid prosecutorial leadership to our enforcement team, further enabling [the Bureau] to aggressively enforce the communications laws....” 

Senate Intelligence Committee Affirms CISA

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence approved the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2014 (CISA) last week.  The Committee’s adopted version of the bill will next be introduced to the full Senate, and bill co-author Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) has urged its passage prior to the August recess.  One of the amendments would create a requirement that the Attorney General determine how long cyber information may be retained.  We have reported on CISA in our July 7 and June 23 Telecom Alerts.  For more information, please contact Doug Jarrett (Jarrett@khlaw.com; 202-434-4180).

Next KH Webinar:  Signal Boosters

On July 29 from Noon– 12:45 p.m. (EST), Keller and Heckman partners Doug Jarrett and Greg Kunkle will present a webinar titled, FCC Signal Booster Rules and Challenges.  This webinar will review the major decisions, implementation challenges, and outstanding issues in the FCC's signal booster rules adopted in 2013, as well as the business and legal realities facing enterprises and property owners seeking property-wide wireless reception.  Please click here for registration information.

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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 © 2013.  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.