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Telecom Business Alert –$25 Million Privacy Settlement, 911 Actions, E-Rate Fiber Workshop, and KH Partner Authors Article on 800/900 MHz Spectrum, Vol XII, Issue 15

Date: Apr 13, 2015

$25 Million AT&T Data Security Settlement

Last week AT&T Services, Inc. and the FCC entered into a Consent Decree resolving the Enforcement Bureau’s investigation into data breaches by AT&T employees at its call centers in Mexico, Columbia, and the Philippines, which resulted in the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive personal information and Customer Proprietary Network Information (“CPNI”) for approximately 280,000 U.S. customers.  Section 222 of the Communications Act restricts a carrier’s use and disclosure of CPNI.  Under the Consent Decree, AT&T will pay a $25 million civil penalty and must take specific actions to improve its privacy and data security practices.  This is the FCC’s second (and largest) enforcement action relating to data security.  For additional information, please contact Tracy Marshall (Marshall@khlaw.com; 202.434.4234). 

911 Actions

Following on the heels of the settlement reached with Verizon law month, on April 6, 2015, the Commission settled its investigation pertaining to an April 2014 multistate 911 service outage with two additional companies.  Intrado Communications agreed to pay a $1.4 million fine.  CenturyLink agreed to pay $16 million, which is the largest 911-related fine assessed by the FCC to date.  The two companies failed to timely notify all affected Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) of the outage.  On April 7, 2015 the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau announced that it was updating the Commission’s Text-to-911 Registry (“Registry”).  The Registry lists PSAPs that are ready to receive text-to-911 messages and provides notice to CMRS providers of the PSAPs’ readiness.  Covered text providers must begin routing 911 text messages to listed PSAPs within six (6) months of the PSAP's valid request for text-to-911 service.  For additional information, please contact Wes Wright (Wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239).

E-Rate Fiber Workshop

Last week the Commission announced that it will hold a public workshop on the new E-rate rules that govern fiber build projects, including funding for schools and libraries, leasing and management of dark fiber, and best practices for fiber builds.  The E-rate program will provide up to $3.9 billion annually to enable broadband connectivity at schools and libraries in rural areas.  The workshop will be held on May 20, 2015 at 1 p.m. in the Commission Meeting Room, FCC HQ, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.  For additional information, please contact Doug Jarrett (Jarrett@khlaw.com; 202.434.4180).

Future Changes to 800/900 MHz Spectrum

Keller and Heckman partner, Greg Kunkle, authors an article for Mission Critical, Energy’s Spectrum Landscape: How Future Changes in the 800/900 MHz Spectrum Could Affect Energy Firms.  The article is available at http://digital.olivesoftware.com/Olive/ODE/MissionCritical/.  For additional information, please contact Greg Kunkle (Kunkle @khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).

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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.