Telecom Alert - FCC Transition Team; Light FCC Agenda; TCPA Enforcement Advisory; AT&T Asks States to Show Interoperability in FirstNET Plans; Upton and Thune Address FTC Agenda - Vol. XIII, Issue 48

Date: Nov 28, 2016

FCC Transition Team Members Announced

Team Trump announced that Jeffrey Eisenach and Mark Jamison will focus on the FCC’s transition as the President-Elect prepares to assume the Presidency.   Eisenach is a managing director at NERA Economic Consulting and serves as the director of American Enterprise’s Center for Internet, Communications, and Technology Policy. Jamison is a visiting fellow at AEI’s Center for Internet, Communication, and Technology and serves as the director of the Public Utility Research Center at the University of Florida. Jamison has been highly critical of current FCC chairman Tom Wheeler’s policy direction and leadership, stating that politicization, a decline of analytical work and lack of transparency characterize the agency’s decision-making. Eisenach has said little publicly, but  is seen as committed to Trump’s emphasis on less regulation and lower taxation.

Light FCC Agenda Announced

The FCC announced a light tentative agenda for its December 15 Open Meeting, only including topics like real-time text (RTT) and Emergency Alert System (EAS). The tentative agenda did state that items already on circulation may be considered if they have not been ruled on prior to the Open Meeting. This will likely be Tom Wheeler’s final Open Meeting as Chairman as the January Open Meeting is tentatively scheduled for late in January after the Trump administration is in office. For more information, please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239).

TCPA Enforcement Advisory

The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau recently issued an Advisory emphasizing the rules and restrictions associated with the use of autodialed text messages (“robotexts”) under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991. For more information, please contact Tracy Marshall (marshall@khlaw.com; 202.434.4234).

AT&T ask States to Show Interoperability in FirstNET Plans

In reply comments filed last week, AT&T asked the FCC to require states that submit alternative plans to First Responder Network Authority’s (“FirstNET”) partner to make a detailed showing that the radio access network (“RAN”) will be interoperable with FirstNET.  AT&T noted in its filing that achieving and maintaining interoperability will be “incredibly challenging” and will be even more complex if a State opts-out.  In addition to showing how a State -operated RAN  may become interoperable, AT&T asks that states “demonstrate a serious long-term commitment of resources, funding, expertise, and cooperation.”  AT&T is one of three entities known to have submitted a bid for the contract to serve as FirstNET’s partner.  For more information, please contact Al Catalano (catalano@khlaw.com; 202-434-4207).

Upton and Thune Address FTC Agenda During Transition

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD) issued a letter to FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez requesting that the she halt any proceedings related to controversial regulations but continue routine merger views and consumer protection enforcement until Trump’s inauguration in January. The legislators issued a similar request last week to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler  that resulted in the deletion of several items from the Commission’s Open Meeting for November.  (Vol. XIII, Issue 47). For more information, please contact Tracy Marshall (marshall@khlaw.com ; 202-434-4234).   

25th Annual National Seattle Conference on Cutting Edge Issues in Technology Law: “Federal Support & Regulation of the Internet of Things”

K&H partner Doug Jarrett will discuss Federal Support and Regulation of the Internet of Things at this year’s National Seattle Conference on Cutting Edge Issues in Technology Law on December 1. 

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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 telecomalert@khlaw.com and provide us with your name and email.  Please follow us on twitter at @KHtelecom.