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Telecom Business Alert - PUCO Pole Rules, State Broadband Laws, Unlicensed Operations Vol. XI Issue 31

Date: Aug 04, 2014

August 4, 2014, Volume XI, Issue 31

Title: PUCO Pole Rules, State Broadband Laws, Unlicensed Operations         

Ohio Adopts Pole Attachment Rules

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio last week adopted comprehensive pole attachment rules modeled largely on FCC regulations, addressing access, make-ready deadlines, temporary stays, wireless attachments, rights-of-way, and rates.  For additional information, please contact Tom Magee (magee@khlaw.com; 202-434-4128).

FCC Authority to Preempt State Broadband Laws

Last week, the FCC released a Public Notice seeking comment on its authority to preempt state statutes that restrict the ability of local government entities to provide broadband service.  The Electric Board of Chattanooga, TN and the City of Wilson, NC, have requested the FCC preempt  state laws restrict their ability to expand broadband service offerings to surrounding areas where customers have expressed interest in these services.  FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has indicated he believes the FCC has authority to preempt state laws that bar or restrict municipal ownership or investment in broadband networks.  The Chairman’s comments dovetail with the FCC’s recent actions making USF funds available for Rural Broadband Experiments and increasing funding for rural E-Rate projects. Please contact Doug Jarrett (jarrett@khlaw.com; 202.434.4180) with questions.

$10,000 Fine for Unauthorized Operation

The FCC issued a Forfeiture Order last week imposing a $10,000 fine against Acumen Communications for operating a trunked, VHF land mobile station on two unauthorized frequencies in Southern California.  In April, the Commission’s Los Angeles Field Office issued Acumen a Notice of Apparent Liability (“NAL”). The company did not respond, so the Commission issued the Forfeiture Order and assessed a $10,000 penalty. Please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239) with questions.

Public Trial of Google’s TV White Space Database

Last week, the FCC released a Public Notice seeking comment on the 45-day public trial of a new system of registration procedures for Google’s TV White Space database system.  The FCC’s rules require TV White Space database administrators to provide for registration in their database of certain facilities using the TV band that are to be protected from unlicensed devices.  Google currently relies on Spectrum Bridge, another TV White Space database administrator, but developed its own registration procedures that were tested from June 2nd through July 17th.  The summary report of Google’s tests is available here.  Comments are due August 13th and Replies must be filed by August 19th.  Please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178) with questions.

Signal Boosters

Thank you to those who attended the Signal Boosters webinar with Doug Jarrett and Greg Kunkle.  A recording of the webinar can be found here.  If you have questions about signal boosters, please feel free to contact Doug (jarrett@khlaw.com; 202.434.4180) or Greg (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 © 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.