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Telecom Business Alert - CII Petitions for Reconsideration, 911 Outage Report, Rural Broadband Experiments Application Window Announced, and Tower Climber Safety Workshop - Volume XI, Issue 42

Date: Oct 20, 2014

October 20, 2014, Volume XI, Issue 42

CII Petitions for Reconsideration, 911 Outage Report, Rural Broadband Experiments Application Window Announced, and Tower Climber Safety Workshop

CII Petitions for Reconsideration

Several electric utilities and oil and gas companies (Critical Infrastructure Industries, or “CII”) asked the FCC to reconsider an Order (See Telecom Alert Issue 37) denying their requests for partial assignment of Automated Maritime Telecommunications System (AMTS) licenses from Maritime Communications/Land Mobile LLC (MCLM).   MCLM is the subject of a hearing proceeding before an Administrative Law Judge concerning its character qualifications to hold the licenses.  The Order said it was in the public interest to remove from the hearing an application to assign spectrum to the Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA) for Positive Train Control (PTC), but it rejected similar requests by the electric utilities and oil and gas companies for SCADA, smart grids, and other critical applications. 

FCC Releases Report and Recommendations Following 911 Outage

On Friday, the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau released a Report relating to an April 911 outage.  The outage occurred when a 911 call-routing facility stopped directing emergency calls to dozens of Public Safety Answering Points.  The Bureau determined that the outage was caused by a software glitch and expressed concern that the 911 system remains susceptible to future outages as carriers transition to an IP-based, next generation 911 network.  The Bureau made several recommendations to address these concerns, including requiring the Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council (“CSRIC”) to develop and implement a set of NG 911 transition “best practices.”  The Bureau also recommended that the FCC conduct further rulemaking proceedings to promote the reliability of 911 service and perhaps even take enforcement action. Please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239) with questions.

Rural Broadband Experiments Application Window Announced

On October 16, the FCC issued a Public Notice announcing the window for filing applications for rural broadband experiments will open on Thursday, October 23, and close on November 7 at 6:00 p.m. EDT. To participate, applicants must complete an FCC Form 5610 and attach a dedicated bid form for each proposed project along with a single descriptive data form listing all proposed projects and certain other project information.  A link to the Form 5610 will be available here on October 23.  For more information, please contact Doug Jarrett (Jarrett@khlaw.com; 202.434.4180).

Tower Climber Safety Workshop

Last week, the FCC held a joint workshop with OSHA and the Department of Labor to discuss the high number of Tower Climber fatalities in recent years. During the event, panelists weighed in on current challenges and means of adopting best practices to promote Climber safety. Speakers addressed both long and short term goals for improvement, as well as shortcomings in enforcement, lack of industry training standards, and insufficient supervision on-site. The event concluded with a signing ceremony for TIRAP (Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program), a program that will ensure high-level training for both new and current Tower Technicians. 

Doug Jarrett to Moderate Panel on In-Building Wireless

Doug Jarrett will be moderating the panelIn-building Wireless- A Real Estate Property Owner Perspective” at the NEDAS Fall Conference on October 22, 2014, in Washington, D.C.

Tom Magee to Speak on Southeastern Electric Exchange Legal Panel

Tom Magee will participate in a Legal Panel at the Southeastern Electric Exchange Joint Use Committee meeting in Coral Gables, Florida on October 22.

Complimentary Webinar on Spectrum Availability

Join us for our complimentary webinar, Spectrum Availability for Critical Infrastructure Companies, on November 12, 2014 from 12:00pm – 12:45pm EDT. This webinar will highlight the narrowband, wideband and broadband spectrum options available via secondary market transactions.  The webinar will focus on the energy industry, identifying the frequency bands in which utilities and oil and gas companies are successfully securing spectrum for applications and those bands which have proved problematic.  This webinar will provide an overview of the spectrum acquisition process, including the FCC secondary market rules, associated construction obligations, and common pitfalls to avoid in the spectrum acquisition process. 

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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 © 2013.  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.