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Telecom Business Alert - Safety of Life at 5.9 GHz; Forfeiture Penalties Adjusted; Cybersecurity Framework; Ligado - Volume XIII, Issue 24

Safety of Life at 5.9 GHz

In a blog post last week, Commissioner Michael O’Reilly discussed the FCC’s current proceeding on Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSCR) systems in the 5.9 GHz band for automobile safety and urged the Commission to define features that are truly critical to safety-of-life operations.  The FCC, NTIA and DOT are working to decide how much spectrum at 5.9 GHz should be allocated for DSCR systems. In his post, O’Reilly argued that auto-related functions (like mapping and navigation, among others) that can be used for monetizing or generating revenues for automobile companies should not be classified as safety-of-life and, thus, should not be included in finalizing a spectrum allocation for DSCR.  For more information on the Commission’s 5.9 GHz proceeding, please contact Doug Jarrett (; 202.434.4180).


Forfeiture Penalties Adjusted for Inflation


Last week the FCC issued an Order amending its rules to adjust the forfeiture penalties for inflation in accordance with the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015.  The adjustments in civil monetary penalties for violations of the Commission’s rules will apply to penalties assessed after July 1, 2016. 

NIST Cybersecurity Framework Update

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently announced that it is updating its Cybersecurity Framework, and plans to release a draft for comment in early 2017.  The update will be based on comments NIST has received since the Framework was published in 2014, and will likely include revised references, clarification of the Framework’s Implementation Tiers, and a mechanism for organizations to gauge their approach to managing cybersecurity risk.  For more information, please contact Tracy Marshall (; 202.434.4234). 


Ligado Networks LLC’s (formerly LightSquared) Chief Technology Officer Tamara Casey announced that the company has been in ongoing discussions with the FAA to address safe power limits and the FAA’s ability to ensure Ligado’s compliance with its rules.  Casey stated that Ligado will lower the power of its terrestrial operations in the 1526 – 1536 MHz band on a nationwide basis to ensure there is no impact to certified civil aviation GPS receivers.  For more information, please contact Wes Wright (; 202.434.4239).    

NENA 2016

K&H attorneys Wes Wright and Tim Doughty are attending NENA 2016 in Indianapolis, IN hosted by the National Emergency Number Association from June 13 to 14.  K&H will be at booth number 832.


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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 © 2015.  All rights reserved.  Articles may be copied with attribution.  To sign up for our weekly alert, please send us an email at and provide us with your name and email.  Please follow us on twitter at @KHtelecom.