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Telecom Business Alert – FirstNet; Drones; FCC Enforcement Advisory; Rural Broadband Experiments; KH Webinar, Vol XII Issue 41

Date: Oct 13, 2015

Complimentary KH Webinar on Leveraging Utility Infrastructure

Keller and Heckman attorneys Doug Jarrett, Tom Magee, and Mike Fitch will host a complimentary webinar on October 22 for electric distribution and generation companies.  The webinar will provide insights into opportunities for companies looking to leverage utility infrastructure to meet the demand of wireless carriers for more sites and related infrastructure as mobile data services continue to expand.  For additional information, please contact Mr. Jarrett (202.434.4180; Jarrett@khlaw.com) or register here. 

FirstNet Draft Cyber Appendix

FirstNet’s initial draft request for proposals (RFP) in April 2015 discussed cyber security objectives pertaining to the nationwide public safety broadband network (NPSBN) but it was not until last week that additional detail in the draft Cyber Security Appendix was released.  Comments on the draft Appendix are due no later than 1:00PM ET on Friday, October 21, 2015.  For additional information, please contact Al Catalano (Catalano@khlaw.com; 202.434.4207).

$1.9 Million Fine for Unauthorized Drone Operations

Last week, the FAA proposed a $1.9 million civil penalty against SkyPan International Inc., for unauthorized drone operations.  The FAA alleges that SkyPan made over 60 unauthorized flights in New York and Illinois from March 2012 through December 2014 without obtaining an airworthiness certificate, registering, or securing a certificate of waiver or authorization for any of those flights.  SkyPan must respond to the FAA’s enforcement letter within 30 days.  This is the largest civil penalty proposed against a drone operator.  For additional information, please contact Greg Kunkle (Kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).

FCC Enforcement Advisory

The Enforcement Bureau released an Enforcement Advisory last week regarding Form 477, which must be filed semi-annually by facilities-based providers of broadband connections, telephone service providers, and interconnected VoIP service providers.  The form 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 Bureau is actively taking enforcement actions against providers who fail to file the required form.  For example, last week, the Bureau entered into a Consent Decree with Rio Verde Wireless LLC for its failure to file Form 477.  Under the settlement, Rio Verde must pay a $10,500 penalty.  For additional information, please contact Wes Wright (Wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239).

Rural Broadband Provisionally Selected Bids

The Wireline Competition Bureau announced that it plans to authorize rural broadband experiments to support the bids of BARC Electric Cooperative and Northeast Rural Services, Inc.  These bids have been provisionally selected and will be authorized by the Bureau subject to the submission of required Line of Credit and Bankruptcy Code letters by October 14, 2015.  The bids cover two states and total approximately $2,821,652 in support to provide broadband to customers in rural areas.  For additional information, please contact Doug Jarrett (Jarrett@khlaw.com; 202.434.4180).

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We welcome your feedback on topics of interest that you would like to see covered in our Telecom Business Alert. To make suggestions, please e-mail telecomalert@khlaw.com.

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 © 2015.  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.