Telecom Alert - FirstNet; AT&T Wireless on Utility Poles; $175,000 Felony Disclosure Fine; Google One Touch Make-Ready; $450,000 Fine for Unauthorized Operations - Vol. XIII, Issue 39

Date: Sep 26, 2016

Alternative State Plans to FirstNet

The Commission’s Notice of Proposed Rule Making seeking comment on the proposed procedures for reviewing alternative state plans has been published in the Federal Register. Comments are due on October 21 and Reply Comments are due November 21 (Vol. XIII, Issue 35). Some states are positioning  themselves for a potential “opt-out” of the FirstNet plan. New Hampshire issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) in late 2015 and recently selected Rivada Networks as the facilitator of the radio access network (“RAN”) construction plan should it decide to opt-out. Earlier this week, Alabama issued an RFP for vendors to facilitate its own RAN project.  Neither State has made a a decision to opt-out but they are positioning themselves to evaluate the FirstNet plan with an alternative in mind. For more information, please contact Al Catalano (catalano@khlaw.com; 202.434.4207).

AT&T Wireless in Power Space? 

AT&T announced it hopes to install wireless antennas near power lines on utility poles to provide high speed connectivity to its customers via unlicensed, millimeter wave frequencies.  AT&T claims utilities could also benefit by using the system for potential smart grid applications. For more information, please contact Tom Magee (magee@khlaw.com; 202.434.4128).

$175,000 Fine for Siemens Corporation

The Enforcement Bureau of the FCC issued an Order and Consent Decree last week whereby Siemens Corporation and Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc. will pay a $175,000 civil penalty to the United States Treasury for failing to disclose two corporate felony convictions on multiple FCC license applications.  In addition to the civil penalty, Siemens agreed to implement a compliance training program.  For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).

Google One Touch Make-Ready Battle in Tennessee

The Nashville Metro Council last week gave final approval to Google’s One Touch Make-Ready proposal, which would allow any communications provider attaching to a utility pole to complete all make-ready work under certain circumstances (Vol. XIII, Issue 30).  Two days later AT&T sued Nashville in U.S. District Court to try to block the ordinance.  For more information, please contact Tom Magee (magee@khlaw.com; 202.434.4128).

FCC Reaches $450,000 Settlement with AT&T

The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau released an Order and Consent Decree in which AT&T agreed to pay a civil penalty of $450,000 for the unauthorized operation of 26 microwave stations and failing to provide required license modification notices to the Commission for eight additional microwave stations.  AT&T also agreed to develop and implement a compliance plan.  For more information, please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239).

K&H Hosts IBA/Mackrell Reception

Keller and Heckman LLP recently hosted a reception in honor of Dr. Mark Ellis, Executive Director of the International Bar Association, as well as various members of Mackrell International following the IBA’s Annual Conference in Washington, DC.  The IBA represents more than 80,000 lawyers and 190 bar associations and societies from 160 countries and serves as the global voice of the legal profession (http://www.ibanet.org/).   Mackrell International is a global law firm referral network consisting of more than 4,500 attorneys from 90 firms in 60 different countries (www.mackrell.net).  Keller and Heckman LLP has been a member of Mackrell International since 2000.  

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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 © 2015.  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.