Telecom Business Alert - Tower Regulations, Tower Climber Workshop, and FirstNet Vol. XI Issue 32

Date: Aug 11, 2014

August 11, 2014, Volume XI, Issue 32

Title: Tower Regulations, Tower Climber Workshop, and FirstNet       

FCC Adopts New Tower Regulations

Last week, the FCC released a Report and Order streamlining the agency’s rules governing antenna structure registrations (ASR).  Among other changes, the Order revises the FCC’s rules to require the agency’s prior approval for any change or correction of one foot or greater in height, or one second or greater in location from the current data on the ASR.  The Order also amends the rules to require that owners display the ASR number so that it is visible to a member of the general public at the closest, publicly-accessible location to the antenna structure base.  The rules previously required the owner to display the ASR number in a conspicuous place that was readily visible near the base of the structure.  Please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239) with questions.

FCC/OSHA Announce Upcoming Tower Climber Workshop

The FCC released a Public Notice today announcing a joint workshop with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to explore issues surrounding tower climber safety, injury prevention, and fatalities involving work on communications towers.  The workshop is scheduled for October 14, 2014, at the FCC’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.  The FCC will release a further Public Notice in the coming weeks, announcing the workshop’s participants and specific issues. 

FirstNet State Consultation Process

FirstNet is proceeding with State consultations that will lead to a buildout plan for FirstNet spectrum in each state and territory.  To take part in the development of these plans, electric utilities and other critical infrastructure entities should contact FirstNet’s designated single point of contact, one of which exists in each state.  CCI entities can also meet with FirstNet to discuss spectrum needs and the facilities a CCI entity may wish to offer as infrastructure for the FirstNet Network.  For assistance in navigating the state consultation process or in meeting with FirstNet, please contact Al Catalano (catalano@khlaw.com; 202.434.4207).

911 NAL

Last week, the FCC issued a Notice of Apparently Liability against Hinton Telephone Company, a rural telephone company in Oklahoma, for violating the FCC’s 911 call routing requirements, assessing a forfeiture of   $100,000. Allegedly, Hinton routed 911 calls to an automated AT&T message that instructed callers to hang up and call 911 in the event of an emergency.  The FCC’s rules require telecommunications carriers to transmit 911 calls to a Public Safety Answering Point, a designated statewide default answering point, or the appropriate local emergency authority.  Emergency calling is a major focus of the FCC.  Currently, the FCC is conducting in three 911-related proceedings that focus on wireless location accuracy, text-to-911 technology, and improving the reliability of the nation’s 911 infrastructure.  Please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239) with questions.

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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.