Telecom Business Alert -- Vol. IX Issue 30

Date: Jul 23, 2012

Connecticut Reopens Pole Attachment Proceeding

Last week, the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Agency issued a Draft Order regarding how electric, gas and telecommunications companies restored service in the aftermath of several storms in 2011. Among other things, the Draft Order cited evidence claiming that the current pole attachment process has become inefficient and that there are unacceptable delays in allowing third parties to attach facilities to utility poles. The Agency proposes to require the statewide Pole Attachment Working Group to be reconvened by September 1, 2012 to prepare a status report on resolved and outstanding issues by November 15, 2012. The Working Group must develop and recommend by January 31, 2013 a consensus pole administration structure with the goal of facilitating utility pole attachments. Please contact Tom Magee (magee@khlaw.com; 202.434.4128) with questions.

Wireless Booster Proceeding

Wireless booster manufacturer Wireless Extenders ("Wi-Ex") met with the Commission to voice its concerns regarding proposed rules for cell power boosters submitted by T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless and Wilson Electronics last month. Wi-Ex disagrees with the proposed requirement that consumer boosters be registered prior to operation. The company also opposes a proposal by AT&T akin to blanket licensing for mobile handsets, under which licensee consent would be required before a signal booster may be operated on a licensee's network. Please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178) with questions.

NTIA Seeks Comment on Relocation of Incumbent Federal Users

Last week, NTIA published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing regulations governing a newly-established Technical Panel tasked with helping to facilitate the relocation of, and spectrum sharing with, the U.S. Government stations in spectrum bands reallocated from Federal use to non-Federal or shared use. Under the new rules, any federal agency required to relocate to a different band must submit a transition plan to the Technical Panel eight months before the FCC's scheduled auction of the agency's existing spectrum. The proposed rules outline the Technical Panel's role in reviewing the transition plan and address the procedures in the event the transition plan is determined to be insufficient. Comments are due August 1, 2012. Please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4296) for more information.

Public Safety Bureau Public Notice

Last week, the FCC's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau released a Public Notice seeking comment on a host of issues related to the reliability of communications service in the aftermath of the June 29 "derecho." The fast-moving storm knocked out power for millions of Americans in the Midwest, mid-Atlantic and northeast and had a significant adverse effect on communications services generally and 9-1-1 facilities in particular. Among other things, the Commission seeks comment on what could be done to improve the resiliency of communications infrastructure, including adopting industry best practices. Comments must be filed by August 17 and reply comments are due September 4. For more information, please contact Doug Jarrett (jarrett@khlaw.com; 202.434.4180).

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