Telecom Business Alert -- Vol. VIII Issue 24

Date: Jun 13, 2011

Concerned Utilities Petition for Reconsideration of Pole Attachment Order

The Coalition of Concerned Utilities (Consumers Energy, Detroit Edison, FirstEnergy Corp., Hawaiian Electric, NSTAR and Pepco Holdings, Inc.), represented by K&H, filed a Petition for Reconsideration of the FCC's April 7 Pole Attachment Order, asking the Commission to reduce its make-ready deadlines to a realistic level, limit pole owner liability, ensure pole owner recovery of make-ready expenses, endorse safety violation penalties, limit pole top antennas, ease notification requirements, and address joint pole owner concerns. For additional information about this Petition or to join the Coalition, please contact Tom Magee (magee@khlaw.com; 202.434.4128).

700 MHz D Block Bill Clears Senate Committee; Includes Incentive Auctions

On Wednesday, the Senate Commerce Committee, by a 21-4 vote, approved a bill to reallocate the 700 MHz D Block for public safety. The bipartisan bill, sponsored by Senators Jay Rockefeller (D – W.Va.) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R – Texas) would create a "Public Safety Broadband Corporation" as licensee for the spectrum. Under the bill, the corporation would be allowed to lease out the public safety network's excess capacity on a secondary basis. The bill would provide $12 billion in buildout funding to be generated by "incentive auctions" where broadcasters voluntarily would auction their TV channels jointly with the government, and receive a portion of proceeds. The spectrum for sale in the incentive auctions would be available for mobile broadband. The fast-moving bill likely will face a full Senate vote later this summer.

Rick Kaplan Replacing Ruth Milkman as Chief of Wireless Telecommunications Bureau at FCC

Current FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Chief Ruth Milkman is stepping down from the position, effective June 20, to take a role as Chairman Genachowski's Special Counsel for Information in Government. Milkman will be replaced by Rick Kaplan, who is currently serving as Chief Counsel and Senior Legal Advisor to the Chairman. Kaplan previously served as Chief of Staff for Commissioner Mignon Clyburn and deputy coordinator of the FCC's Digital Television task force.

Citigroup and RSA Experience Data Breaches

Last week, Citigroup announced that it experienced a series of network attacks that compromised information for approximately 200,000 customers. Hackers were reportedly able to view names, account numbers, and contact information. Citigroup said that it discovered the intrusion during routine monitoring and that the company will implement stronger security measures as a result. In addition, the security company RSA announced that a March cyberattack may have compromised SecurID tokens for the company's 40 million users. RSA has offered to replace tokens for affected users, which could cost the company millions of dollars in addition to any lost business as a result of the attack. For more information on this or other data security and privacy issues, contact Tracy Marshall (marshall@khlaw.com; 202.434.4234).

K&H Video Minute: Tim Doughty on Licensing Timelines

Keller and Heckman LLP is proud to welcome its 2011 class of summer associates to the firm! In this week's Video Minute, Licensing Specialist Tim Doughty discusses recent delays at frequency coordinators and the FCC in processing applications. For this week's Video Minute, click here.

Webinar: "Spectrum Availability for Next Generation Critical Infrastructure Communications"

On June 14, Keller and Heckman LLP attorneys will present a webinar entitled "Spectrum Availability for Next Generation Critical Infrastructure Communications." Smart grid, positive train control, and high speed SCADA are among the next generation technologies that critical infrastructure industries are seeking to implement, and they all require radio spectrum. With the FCC largely ignoring these spectrum needs, how can CII entities acquire this spectrum? This webinar will discuss spectrum options for CII entities, FCC secondary market rules, and key contractual and due diligence considerations for all types of spectrum acquisitions. For more information or to register, click here.

Next Privacy and Data Security Webinar This Thursday

Join Keller and Heckman LLP attorneys this Thursday, June 16, for the third of our six-part webinar series, "The Privacy Playbook: A Practical Guide for Businesses." Thursday's webinar, "Privacy Considerations in the Employment Context," will be held from 11 to 12:30 EST. Future webinars will focus on protecting data and managing breaches (June 30), privacy enforcement and lawsuits (July 14), and issues surrounding implementation of the smart grid and other technologies (July 28). 

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