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Telecom Business Alert - NARUC Resolution Supporting CII, Part 22 Paging Rules, FirstNet "Public Safety" Comments, CSIS Cyber Policy Task Force, and Complimentary K&H Webinar on Spectrum Acquisitions, Vol XI Issue 45

Date: Nov 10, 2014

NARUC Resolution supporting CII

The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) has released its Draft Resolutions for consideration at its annual meeting November 16-19 in San Francisco.  Consistent with the letter submitted by national representatives of the CCI companies, the NARUC board will review a proposal to object to the FCC’s recent decision which reached the mistaken conclusion that SCADA and smart grid systems are not dedicated to protecting the public safety and the prevention of human injury and property damage (See Telecom Alert Issue 37 and 42).  The resolution “urges the FCC to allow utilities expeditious access to spectrum licenses in order to best serve the public interest by supporting SCADA and smart grid systems.”  

Part 22 Paging Rules

Last month, the FCC released a Public Notice seeking comment on the current Paging and Radiotelephone Service rules (Part 22) in an effort to bolster more intensive use of the band.  The FCC noted that technical and operational flexibility could promote more use in the band, allow for development of innovative technologies, and encourage deployment of narrowband equipment.  These frequencies are being acquired by some CII companies for voice and data wireless communications.  Additional flexibility in the FCC’s rules should enhance the value of this spectrum for many CII entities.  For more information, please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239).

FirstNet “Public Safety” Comments

In responding to a recent Public Notice defining who will be allowed priority access to the FirstNet network for certain uses, most commenters, including states, industry groups, manufactures, utilities, and oil and gas company representatives, supported FirstNet’s legal interpretation of the term “public safety entity” as an entity that performs a non de minimis amount of public safety services, even if it provides other services.  Electric utilities, oil and gas companies and other CII entities presumably would be included in this definition.  APCO and AT&T opposed the definition, arguing that it is not supported by the FirstNet enabling legislation.  Levels of priority access to the system are an open question, although virtually all of the states that responded want a role in that decision.  Different states may push for different priorities and pre-emptions.  For more information, please contact Al Catalano (catalano@khlaw.com; 202.434.4207).

CSIS Cyber Policy Task Force

On November 3, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) announced a new Cyber Policy Task Force to review the current state of cybersecurity in the U.S.  The task force will consist of “cross-sector groups with stakeholders from industry, government, academia, and civil society” and seeks to provide policy recommendations to make cyberspace a stable and secure environment.  For more information, please contact Tracy Marshall (marshall@khlaw.com; 202.434.4234).

Complimentary K&H Webinar on Spectrum Acquisitions: November 12

Please join us for a complimentary webinar, Spectrum Acquisitions for Critical Infrastructure Companies, from 12:00pm – 12:45pm EDT on Wednesday, November 12, 2014. This is the latest in an ongoing series of webinars on topics of interest for clients and friends of Keller and Heckman LLP.  The webinar will focus on spectrum acquisitions in the energy industry, identifying the frequency bands in which utilities and oil and gas companies are successfully securing spectrum for applications as well as those bands which have proven to be problematic.   We will provide an overview of the spectrum acquisition process, including the FCC secondary market rules, associated construction obligations, and common pitfalls to avoid in the spectrum acquisition process. Please click here to register for this webinar. For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (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 © 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.