Telecom Business Alert -- PTC, Utility Cyber Attack, and Drones -- Vol. XI, Issue 21

Date: May 27, 2014

FCC Facilitates PTC

On May 19, the FCC announced two actions intended to help to enable rail companies expedite construction of positive train control (“PTC”) facilities.  The first was the announcement of a $10 million fund created by the railroads to support cultural and historic preservation projects.  The FCC also announced that the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation approved the Program Comment that will modify the normal FCC historic preservation review process.  These actions are intended to facilitate construction of PTC facilities in order to meet the statutory deadline of December 31, 2015.  For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (Kunkle@khlaw.com; 202-434-4178).

Cyber Attack on Public Utility

On May 16, the Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (“ICS-CERT”) of the Department of Homeland Security issued its report revealing that a public utility had been hacked and its control system network compromised.  The report explained that the system contained a remote access capability with a password security mechanism but could be vulnerable to “brute force” hacking techniques.  ICS-CERT conducted an on-site visit and made recommendations for securing the control network.  

FCC Chairman Defends Net Neutrality NPRM

On May 20, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler faced criticism from both sides of the isle as he testified at a House oversight hearing.  In his opening statement, Chairman Wheeler spoke of many actions the FCC has taken in the six month since the last oversight hearing but the Representatives chose to focus instead on the recent Open Internet NPRM.  Several Republicans expressed concerns with reclassifying broadband as a telecommunications service.  Democrats focused their criticisms on actions that may allow for the creation of an internet “fast lane.”  For more information, please contact Doug Jarrett (Jarrett@khlaw.com; 202-434-4180).

K&H at Public Safety Communications Research Conference

The Public Safety Communications Research Program is holding its Conference on June 3-5 in Westminster, Colorado.  The conference is scheduled to discuss demonstration network testing results, advance features testing, and public safety broadband standards development activities and security.  At the same location, FirstNet is scheduled to hold two days of meetings as well.  On June 2, the four Board Committees, Governance and Personnel, Outreach, technology, and Finance, will meet.  On June 3, the full FirstNet Board will hold its quarterly meeting.  Al Catalano and Wesley Wright of Keller and Heckman will be there for both the Conference and the FirstNet Board meeting.  For more information, please contact Al Catalano (Catalano@khlaw.com; 202-434-4207).

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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.