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Telecom Business Alert - 911 Violation, 911 Outage Investigation Settled, Signal Booster Waiver, FirstNet Activities, FCC Continues to Go Green, and KH Attorney Authors Net Neutrality Article - Vol. XII, Issue 12

Date: Mar 23, 2015

Fine for 911 Violation

Last week, the Commission ordered  Hinton Telephone Company (Hinton) to pay a $100,000 penalty for failing to direct 911 calls to local first responders.  In May 2013, the Commission received a complaint pertaining to Hinton’s 911 services.  Upon further investigation, the Enforcement Bureau discovered that from May 6, 2013 to August 5, 2013 Hinton routed 911 calls to an automated operator message that directed callers to “hang-up and dial 911.”  Under the Commission’s rules, emergency calls must be directed to a public safety or local emergency authority answering point.  Although Hinton was aware of the problem, it failed to correct the problem until the Enforcement Bureau demanded that the calls be directed to the appropriate local emergency responder authority.  For additional information, please contact Wes Wright (Wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239).

Verizon Settles 911 Outage Investigation

On March 18, 2015, the Commission and MCI Communications Service, Inc. d/b/a Verizon Business Services (Verizon) entered into a Consent Decree to settle the Enforcement Bureau’s Investigation pertaining to an April 2014 multistate 911 service outage.  Verizon failed to timely notify all affected Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs), which it was required to do under the Commission’s rules.  To settle the matter, Verizon agreed to implement a Compliance Plan and to pay a $3.4 million fine.  For additional information, please contact Wes Wright (Wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239).

Signal Booster Waiver

Last week, the FCC granted Bird Technology’s request for waiver  of the signal booster labeling requirements under Part 90 of the Commission’s rules.  The company sought a waiver of Section 90.219 of the Commission’s rules that requires every Part 90 signal booster be labeled to indicate whether it is a Class A or Class B device along with an advisory statement concerning who may operate the device.  Bird Technology developed Signal Booster III that allows the end-user to determine how the signal booster will be configured and operated (i.e., either as a Class A or Class B device).  The rule waiver authorizes the use of a special label for Signal Booster III products.  For additional information, please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).

FirstNet Activities

At IWCE in Las Vegas last week, Federal, state and industry representatives discussed numerous FirstNet and NBPSN issues which included state implementation planning, utility participation, and the build-out of rural America.  FirstNet is scheduled to convene meetings of the Board Committees (Governance and Personnel; Technology; Outreach; and Finance) on March 24, and the entire Board will hold an open public meeting on March 25.  For more information, please contact Al Catalano (Catalano@khlaw.com; 202.434.4207) or Tom Magee (Magee@khlaw.com; 202-434-4128).

FCC Continues to Go Green

On March 19, 2015, the FCC announced that Petitions for Rulemaking – that previously could only be filed via hardcopy – may be filed though an online filing module by going to the ECFS homepage and selecting “Submit a Non-Docketed Filing.”  Petitioners still have the option to file on paper. 

Wes Wright Authors Article on Net Neutrality

Keller and Heckman attorney, Wes Wright, authors an article for Submarine Telecoms Forum, Summary:  The FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules.  The article explores the history of net neutrality, the FCC’s net neutrality rules, and whether the rules will be challenged in court.  For additional information, please contact Wes Wright (Wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239).

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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 © 2014.  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.