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Telecom Business Alert – Special Access Reporting Deadlines, NARUC Supports CII Companies, 800 MHz Mexico Border Rebanding, Cellphones on Planes, Vol XI Issue 49

Date: Dec 08, 2014

Title: Special Access Reporting Deadlines, NARUC Supports CII Companies, 800 MHz Mexico Border Rebanding, Cellphones on Planes

Special Access Reporting Deadlines

Late last month, the FCC extended the deadline for responding to the agency’s special access data collection.  (Vol. XI, Issue 38).  Large businesses with more than 1,500 employees that are required to provide data in response to the collection must now do so by January 29, 2015.  Small businesses with 1,500 or fewer employees that are required to respond must submit data to the Commission by February 27, 2015.  Companies that must certify they are not required to provide data because they are not a covered Provider or Purchaser, and entities providing Best Efforts Business Broadband Internet Access, must still respond by the original deadline of December 15, 2014.  Some oil and gas companies, including pipelines, energy holding companies, and railroads may be subject to this reporting requirement.  Please contact Doug Jarrett (jarrett@khlaw.com; 202.434.4180) or Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239) with questions.

NARUC Supports CII Companies

Last week, the National Association of Regulatory Commissioners (NARUC) filed Comments at the FCC in the longstanding MCLM hearing proceeding, along with a Resolution (Vol. XI, Issue 47) recommending the FCC reconsider its finding that SCADA systems by oil and gas companies and smart grids by electric utilities are not dedicated to “protecting the public safety and the prevention of human injury and property damage.”  The organization urged the Commission to allow access to spectrum in support of SCADA and smart grid systems needed to secure delivery of essential services. 

800 MHz Mexico Border Rebanding

FCC staff last month advised the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council that the agency is in contact with Mexican officials regarding 800 MHz rebanding along the border. Rebanding efforts in the border region started in August 2013 and are scheduled to be completed by February 2016. FCC officials are working with their Mexican counterparts to confirm retuning on the Mexican side of the border is on schedule to meet that timeline. Please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178) with questions.

Cellphones on Planes

The Department of Transportation has delayed issuance of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) prohibiting the use of mobile phones for voice communications on flights to, from, or within the U.S.  The agency had originally hoped to release the NPRM on December 4th, but has delayed the target release date until April 16, 2015.  In February, the Department of Transportation issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on a proposal to restrict or prohibit voice calls on flights.  (Vol XI, Issue 10).  The proposal was in response to the FCC’s controversial proposal to allow mobile devices to access cellular networks on planes.  For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202-434-4178).

FCC Announces Form 477 Due Date

The FCC reopened its Form 477 filing database late last month after experiencing technical problems.  The Form 477 is filed semi-annually by facilities-based providers of broadband connections, telephone service providers, and interconnected VoIP service providers and allows the FCC to collect information about broadband connections to end user locations, wired and wireless local telephone services, and interconnected VoIP service in individual states.  The Form is due December 11, 2014.  Please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239) with questions.

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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.