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Telecom Business Alert -- Pole Attachment Challenge, Band Edge Spectrum Use, and FCC Process Reform -- Vol. XI Issue 5

Date: Feb 03, 2014

Utilities Challenge FCC Pole Attachment Jurisdiction

On behalf of Consumers Energy, FirstEnergy, National Grid, Northeast Utilities, and South Carolina Electric & Gas, Keller and Heckman LLP has asked the House Energy and Commerce Committee for a transfer of pole attachment jurisdiction from the FCC to FERC, the elimination of FCC jurisdiction over joint use, and an increase in pole attachment rates.  If you have any questions or comments about this submission, please contact Tom Magee (magee@khlaw.com; 202-434-4128).

Update On Reform of FCC Process

At the FCC’s Open Meeting on January 30, the Process Reform Working Group presented an update on its progress. The report, which incorporates suggestions from a number of interested parties including Keller and Heckman, puts forward a number of recommendations to enhance the efficiency of the FCC. The K&H recommendations focused on the adoption of a non-punitive, self-disclosure model as an alternative to the FCC’s current enforcement practices, limiting the question on FCC Forms 601 requiring disclosures of felonies to those occurring within 10 years prior to filing an application, establishing criteria with Industry Canada for obtaining concurrences for operations above Line A, and the need for greater clarity on NEPA requirements for new antenna structures. The report, not yet released, will next be put out for public comment.  For more information, please contact Doug Jarrett (Jarrett@khlaw.com; 202-434-4180).

Band Edge Waiver

On January 27, the FCC granted Mobile Relay Associates’ waiver request to authorize operation on frequency pairs 462.5375/467.5375 and 462.7375/467.7375 in California, Colorado, Nevada, and Florida. This waiver allows MRA to utilize spectrum in the band edges between the Industrial /Business pool spectrum and the General Mobile Radio Service spectrum.  Finding support in the comments, the FCC determined that the waiver would help to alleviate PLMR congestion in these locations. For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (Kunkle@khlaw.com; 202-434-4178).

IP Technology Transition Experiments

On January 30, the FCC announced it was accepting proposals for technology transition experiments. The experiments involve three areas: service based experiments; targeted experiments and cooperative research; and data improvement.  Proposals are due February 20 and final decisions on the proposals will be made at the FCC’s May Open Meeting. 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 © 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.  Please follow us on twitter at @KHtelecom.