Telecom Business Alert – Internet of Things; FirstNet; Rural Broadband; USF Contribution Factor; Broadband Privacy; Pole Attachments, Vol XIII, Issue 11

Date: Mar 14, 2016

Internet of Things Bill 

A bipartisan group of Senators introduced the Developing Innovation and Growing the Internet of Things Act (DIGIT Act), which would require the FCC and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to conduct a study evaluating the future spectrum needs of the Internet of Things (IoT).  The study would address whether there is sufficient spectrum available to support the growth of IoT, which Congress estimates will consist of more than 50,000,000,000 devices by 2020.  In addition, the study would examine regulatory barriers to providing needed spectrum for the IoT and the roles of licensed and unlicensed spectrum in the growth of the IoT.  For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).     

FirstNet RFP and Board Meeting

Last week FirstNet released more amendments to its Request for Proposal to build a nationwide public safety broadband network (NPSBN) (Vol. XIII, Issue 3).  Included in the amendments is the fourth set of vendor clarification requests, as well as an updated Partnering/Teaming List of offerors interested in subcontracting and teaming opportunities with other potential offerors.  On March 16, the FirstNet Board Committees and full Board will meet for an open teleconference and webinar from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. EDT.  The meetings will be open to the public via teleconference and webcast.  For more information, please contact Al Catalano (catalano@khlaw.com; 202.434.4207). 

Letter of Credit Obligation Clarified 

The FCC requires “provisionally selected” Rural Broadband Experiment (“RBE”) bidders to secure a letter of credit (“LOC”) from a qualified financial institution.  The FCC recently adopted an order limiting the duration of the LOC to when the RBE recipient completes its buildout of broadband facilities, rather than for the ten years during which RBE funds will be dispersed.  The remaining LOC issues are (1) whether institutions other than the 100 largest US banks may issue LOCs, and (2) whether these rules will apply to winners of the CAF II reverse auction. For more information, please contact Doug Jarrett (Jarrett@khlaw.com; 202.434.4180). 

2nd Quarter USF Contribution Factor 

The FCC released a Public Notice announcing that the Universal Service Contribution Factor for the second quarter of 2016 will be 0.179 or 17.9 percent.  For more information, please contact Doug Jarrett (Jarrett@khlaw.com; 202.434.4180). 

Broadband Privacy NPRM 

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler circulated a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) at the Commission proposing new privacy and data security rules for broadband service providers.  The NPRM will be voted on at the Commission’s Open Meeting on March 31.   A summary is available on Keller and Heckman’s Consumer Protection Connection blog. 

Pole Attachments 

K&H Partner Tom Magee will be providing an update on pole attachment issues on March 15th at RMEL’s Distribution and Overhead & Underground and Maintenance Conference in Denver, Colorado.

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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 © 2016.  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.