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Telecom Business Alert -- 4.9 GHz Band, Cybersecurity, Twilight Towers, FCC Enforcement -- Vol. X Issue 44

Date: Oct 28, 2013

NPSPTC Provides Guidance on 4.9 GHz Band

Last week, the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC), the primary communications policy advocate for the public safety community, submitted its recommendations for the 4.9 GHz national plan in response to the FCC’s Fourth Report and Order and Fifth Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) issued in June 2012.  The NPRM proposed to enhance utilization of the 4.9 GHz band (4940-4990 MHz) by Public Safety and other entities.  NPSTC’s plan includes recommendations that electric utilities, oil and gas companies and others in the Critical Infrastructure Industries (CII) be eligible to share two (5 MHz wide) channels on a co-primary basis with public safety. CII also would be provided with access to additional channels subject to a transition that recognizes planned public safety uses. For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).

NIST Releases Preliminary Cybersecurity Framework

Early last week, the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) released the preliminary version of its voluntary Cybersecurity Framework, which is intended to provide critical infrastructure entities with a common language for expressing, understanding, and managing cybersecurity risk.  The Framework’s purpose is to identify and prioritize actions for CII entities to reduce cybersecurity risk and align policy, business, and technology approaches to managing this risk.  After publication in the Federal Register, there will be a 45-day window for public comment.  The final Framework is scheduled to be released in February 2014.  For more information, please contact Doug Jarrett (Jarrett@khlaw.com; 202.434.4180).

PCIA Urges FCC to Act on Twilight Towers

Days before the government shutdown, PCIA officials met with FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai and others to encourage the FCC to issue new policies to encourage infrastructure investment as part of the nationwide wireless broadband deployment.  Among other things, PCIA urged the FCC to take action to resolve the “Twilight Tower” problem.  Twilight towers were built in 2001-2005 without completing the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) requirements, since it was not clear whether the rules applied.  As a result, these towers cannot be used for collocation, thus hindering the efficient deployment of wireless broadband.  PCIA urged the FCC to establish procedures for bringing these towers into compliance in the near term.  

FCC Enforcement Advisory: ASR Ownership Changes

The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau remains active in enforcing tower regulations, recently issuing a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture proposing a $4,200 fine for failure to notify the Commission of a change of ownership for an Antenna Structure.  The FCC’s rules require that the new owner of an antenna tower immediately submit a notice to the FCC to update the Antenna Structure Registration (ASR) records. The company acquired the tower in 2008 but did not update the records until 2013 when confronted by FCC staff.  Given the length of time, the FCC found that the base forfeiture of $3,000 should include an upward adjustment for the “particularly egregious” nature of the violation.  

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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.