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Telecom Business Alert - Modified Ex Parte Rules for PTC, NIST Cyber-Physical Security Working Group, Unlit Tower Fine, and FirstNet Announces September Board Meeting - Vol. XI Issue 35

Date: Sep 02, 2014

September 2, 2014, Volume XI, Issue 35

Modified Ex Parte Rules for PTC; , NIST Cyber-Physical Security Working Group, Unlit Tower Fine, and FirstNet Announces September Board Meeting

FCC Modifies Rules for EA’s filed for PTC

In a Public Notice released last week, the FCC announced a change to the ex parte rules covering communications between the Commission and Tribal Nations and between the Commission and State Historic Preservation Officers (SHPO’s) arising when a railroad submits a license application with an attached Environmental Assessment (EA) for Positive Train Control (PTC) facilities.  The update was effective on August 27 and is intended to streamline environmental processing for PTC facilities.  Under the modified rules, a railroad will now be able to submit an EA that is required for reasons other than Section 106 prior to completing its Section 106 process.  If issues arise, there will be no ex parte restrictions on the communications between the Commission and either Tribal Nations or the SHPO.  For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (Kunkle@khlaw.com; 202-434-4178).

NIST Group Addresses Cyber-Physical Security

Earlier this month, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (“NIST”) Working Group addressing the security of cyber-physical systems (CPS) held its initial “in person” meeting.  NIST defines CPS as “co-engineered networks of physical and [digitized] components central to [the Nation’s] critical infrastructure.”  The primary purposes of this Working Group are “to facilitate interoperability” between remote components and management and control systems and ensure “dependability and security.”  For more information, please contact Doug Jarrett (Jarrett@khlaw.com; 202-434-4180).

$7,500 Fine for Unlit Tower

The FCC issued a Forfeiture Order last week imposing a penalty of $7,500 against Telava Wireless for failing to monitor its lighting system and repair a light outage on a 300 foot tower in Fordsville, Kentucky.  The Enforcement Bureau’s initially proposed a $17,000 forfeiture, but in response to Telava’s claimed inability to pay, the forfeiture was reduced to $7,500.  The Order noted that in prior cases of egregious violations, inability to pay has been completely rejected.  For more information, please contact Wes Wright (Wright@khlaw.com; 202-434-4239).

FirstNet September Board Meeting Announced

NTIA announced that the next open board meeting for FirstNet will take place at FirstNet’s headquarters located in the United States Geological Survey Building, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston, VA 20192 on September 17 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time.  The agenda will be posted on FirstNet’s website in the coming weeks.  The meeting is open to the public and will be webcast.  For more information, please contact Al Catalano (Catalano@khlaw.com; 202-434-4207).

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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.