Telecom Business Alert – FCC Proposes $10 Million Fine; White Space Waiver; Updated NEPA Rules; Special Access Data Collection Webinar; New Tower Rules; December FirstNet Meeting , Vol XI Issue 43

Date: Oct 27, 2014

FCC Proposes $10 Million Fine; White Space Waiver; Updated NEPA Rules; Special Access Data Collection Webinar; New Tower Rules; December FirstNet Meeting

FCC Proposes $10 Million Fine for USF Program Privacy Breach

Last week, the FCC proposed that TerraCom, Inc. and YourTel America, Inc pay a $10 million fine for privacy violations, deceptive and misleading representations about their data security practices, and their failure to notify consumers of a data breach involving their sensitive personal information.  The Notice of Apparent Liability has not yet been released, but the Enforcement Bureau’s investigation revealed that sensitive personal information, including Social Security Numbers, names, addresses, and driver’s licenses, for up to 305,000 consumers participating in the Lifeline program were stored on unprotected servers and accessible to anyone in the world.  This is the FCC’s first data security case and reportedly the largest privacy action in Commission history.  For more information, please contact Tracy Marshall (marshall@khlaw.com; 202.434.4234).

OET Seeks Comment on White Space Waiver

In a Public Notice released last week, the FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) requested public comment on a waiver request submitted by Adaptrum, Inc. to allow operation of fixed white space devices in northeast Maine with antenna heights above ground that exceed the limit in the Commission’s rules.  Comments are due November 24 and Reply Comments are due on December 9.  For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).

FCC Streamlines Environmental/Historic Preservation Review for Utility Poles

The FCC last week adopted rules designed to ease environmental and historic preservation restrictions on wireless antenna siting, including siting on electric utility distribution poles.  The ruling expands the number of utility poles and other structures for which such environmental and historic preservation is no longer necessary.  For more information, please contact Tom Magee (magee@khlaw.com; 202.434.4128).

Special Access Data Collection Webinar Oct. 30

From 11:00 a.m. to noon EDT on October 30, 2014, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau will host a webinar on the Special Access Data Collection.  The Bureau is encouraging participants to submit questions in advance of the event and also will take questions during the webinar.  Responses to the Data Collection are due by December 15, 2014.  For more information, please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239). 

New Tower Marking/Lighting Rules Effective

On October 24, the FCC’s new rules streamlining antenna structure registrations (ASR) took effect.  The changes were originally reported in our August 11, 2014 Telecom Business Alert.  Among other things, the FCC Order revised the 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 amended the rules to require owners to display the ASR number so it is visible to a member of the general public at the closest, publicly-accessible location to the antenna structure base.    For more information, please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239).

FirstNet Announces Next Open Meeting

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) will hold its next open meeting on December 10, 2014 in Salt Lake City, Utah.  The Board’s committees are planning to meet on December 9.  For more information, please contact Al Catalano (Catalano@khlaw.com; 202.434.4207).

Complimentary Webinar on Spectrum Availability

Join us for our complimentary webinar, Spectrum Availability for Critical Infrastructure Companies, from 12:00pm – 12:45pm EDT on Wednesday, November 12, 2014. This latest webinar in a series of complimentary webinars for clients and friends of Keller and Heckman LLP will highlight the narrowband, wideband and broadband spectrum options available via secondary market transactions.  The webinar will focus on the energy industry, identifying the frequency bands in which utilities and oil and gas companies are successfully securing spectrum for applications as well as those bands which have proved problematic.  This webinar will provide an overview of the spectrum acquisition process, including the FCC secondary market rules, associated construction obligations, and common pitfalls to avoid in the spectrum acquisition process. Please click here to register for this webinar. For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).

Tom Magee to Speak at Heartland Joint Use Conference

K&H Partner Tom Magee will participate in a Legal Panel and roundtable legal discussions with utility and attacher representatives at the Heartland Joint Use Meeting in Newark, Ohio on October 28.

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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.