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Telecom Business Alert - Marriott Consent Decree, Cyber Research Center Contract, Tower Collapse Deaths, Rural FCC/OSHA Tower Workshop, Rural Broadband Experiments Webinar and Wireless Microphones - Volume XI, Issue 40

Date: Oct 06, 2014

October 6, 2014, Volume XI, Issue 40

Marriott Consent Decree, Cyber Research Center Contract, Tower Collapse Deaths, Rural FCC/OSHA Tower Workshop, Rural Broadband Experiments Webinar and Wireless Microphones

Marriott Enters $600,000 Consent Decree for Wi-Fi Interference

Last week the FCC announced a Consent Decree with Marriott International and Marriott Hotel Services to settle an investigation arising from employees at the Gaylord Opryland Convention Center using features of a Wi-Fi monitoring system to contain and/or de-authenticate guest-created Wi-Fi hotspot access points in the conference facilities in Nashville, Tennessee.  The investigation was prompted by consumer complaints that Marriott was jamming mobile hotspots in the convention space. Marriott later admitted one or more of its employees prevented consumers from connecting to the Internet via personal hotspots.  Gaylord Opryland allegedly charged exhibitors and attendees $250 to $1,000 to access the convention center’s Wi-Fi system.  The Consent Decree requires Marriott to pay a $600,000 civil penalty, develop and implement a compliance plan, and submit periodic compliance and usage reports to the Commission.  For more information, please contact Doug Jarrett (Jarrett@khlaw.com; 202.434-4180). 

Cyber Research Center Contract Awarded

The Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) awarded a $29 million contract to The MITRE Corporation to operate the Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) that will focus exclusively on enhancing cybersecurity.  The center will support the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE), which helps businesses secure their data and digital infrastructure by bringing together industry and government experts to provide real-world cybersecurity solutions based on commercially available technologies.  Federal staff will manage the NCCoE, and MITRE will operate the FFRDC to support task areas such as research, development, and engineering.  For more information, please contact Doug Jarrett (Jarrett@khlaw.com; 202.434.4180). 

Tower Collapse Causes Two Deaths

Following a tower collapse that resulted in the death of two climbers, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Wireless Horizon Inc. for two willful and four serious alleged safety violations.  OSHA’s investigation indicated that Wireless Horizon failed to inspect rigging elements prior to construction of a tower which resulted in its collapse.  OSHA proposed a $134,400 penalty against the company for the alleged violations and placed the company in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.  For more information, please contact Larry Halprin (Halprin@khlaw.com; 202.434-4177).

Tower Climber Safety Workshop

The FCC’s Wireless Bureau and OSHA have announced details regarding the upcoming workshop on Tower Climber Safety and Injury Prevention to be held on October 14 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  The agenda can be found here and will include panel discussions. The first panel will consider the causes of high fatality and injury rates for climbers.  The second will discuss how to identify and adopt best practices and reduce the frequency of injury.  Representatives from AT&T and American Tower, among others, will take part in panel discussions.  For more information, please contact Wes Wright (Wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239).

Rural Broadband Experiments Webinar on Thursday

On October 9, 2014, 2:00 PM EST, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau will conduct a webinar going over the nuances of the application procedures, focusing on completing the Form 5610, for entities interested in applying for funding under the FCC’s Rural Broadband Experiments program.  The new due date for filing these applications has not been announced.  For more information, please contact Doug Jarrett (Jarrett@khlaw.com; 202.434.4180).

Wireless Microphone NPRM

Last week, the FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing to allow wireless microphone operation on a secondary basis in the 6875-7125 MHz band (7 GHz band).  The 7 GHz band currently authorizes shared co-primary use for fixed microwave operations among TV BAS stations under Part 74 and cable television relay stations (CARS) under Part 78 of the Commission’s rules.  The NPRM seeks comment on permitting licensed wireless microphone operations on available channels in the band on a secondary basis for entities eligible to hold BAS or CARS licenses. Users would not be permitted to cause interference to and would be required to accept interference from primary users.  Comments will be due 45 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register.  For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (Kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434-4178).

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