Telecom Business Alert - Special Access Order, FirstNet RFI, Connecticut Pole Attachment Rules Vol. XI Issue 38

Date: Sep 22, 2014

September 22, 2014, Volume XI, Issue 38

Special Access Order, FirstNet RFI, Connecticut Pole Attachment Rules

Special Access Order

Last week, the FCC released an Order on Reconsideration announcing the filing deadline for the Commission’s Special Access data collection.  Service providers and end-user purchasers of special access services will be required to report certain rate and location data to the Commission on or before December 15, 2014. This is part of the FCC’s efforts to assess whether special access services provided by the price cap ILECs are subject to meaningful competition.  The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) required the FCC to exempt services providers and end-user purchasers of special access services that purchased less than $5 million in special access services during 2013.  Some oil and gas companies, including pipelines, energy holding companies, and railroads may be subject to this reporting requirement.   OMB also limited the information that end-user purchasers must provide.  Please contact Doug Jarrett (jarrett@khlaw.com; 202.434.4180) or Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239) with questions.

FirstNet Seeking Comments

FirstNet is seeking comments (see, Public Notice) regarding the scope and interpretation of the FirstNet enabling legislation and has issued a Request For Information (RFI) soliciting comprehensive network solutions, including solutions that include infrastructure sharing.  The Public Notice proposes the definition of “Public Safety” include, “an entity [that] may offer other services in addition to public safety services and still qualify as a public safety entity.”  However, FirstNet says that it could choose to restrict priority access for some public safety entities for policy reasons.  In any event, levels of priority remain a major issue.  The RFI is a precursor to a draft RFP and, ultimately, to a final RFP focused on sustainability of the FirstNet network.  Comments are 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.  For more information, please contact Al Catalano (catalano@khlaw.com; 202-434-4207).

Connecticut Proposes Utilities Administer Statewide Pole Attachments

To increase pole attachment efficiencies, the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) released a draft decision that would appoint the two Connecticut electric utilities as the Single Pole Administrator in their respective service territories.  Additional draft rulings pertain to a statewide electronic pole administration system, temporary attachments, revisions of agreements, and double wood.  For additional information, please contact Tom Magee (magee@khlaw.com; 202-434-4128).

Text-to-911 Rules and Proposed Rules Issued

Last week, the FCC published its final rules and proposed rules regarding text-to-911.  The final rules require wireless carriers and certain text messaging providers to be capable of supporting text-to-911 services by December 31, 2014.  The new rules require these “covered text providers” to implement text-to-911 for Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) by June 30, 2015, or six months after a request by a PSAP.  The proposed rules seek comment on enhanced location information, support for text-to-911 roaming, and future texting services.  Comments are due by October 16th and Reply Comments on or before November 17th.  Please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239) with questions.

September 29, 2014 Workshop on Rural Broadband Reverse Auction Bids  

The FCC will conduct a workshop on September 29, 2014, tentatively scheduled for 2:00 PM, for entities interested securing funding under the FCC’s Rural Broadband Experiments Order to offer broadband service to rural communities located in price cap ILEC service areas that are without broadband services. Rural electric cooperatives are among the entities interested in pursuing this funding option. The workshop will focus on completing FCC Form 5610 and related information to accompany the bids for proposed broadband projects. Bids and related information must be filed on or before October 14, 2014.  For more information, please contact Doug Jarrett (jarrett@khlaw.com; 202.434.4180)     

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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.