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Telecom Alert -- Cybersecurity, 14 GHz -- Vol. X Issue 36

Date: Sep 03, 2013

NIST Releases Updated Cybersecurity Framework

Last week, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released for industry review an updated draft of its preliminary cybersecurity framework. The White House Executive Order on Cybersecurity, issued last February, tasked NIST with developing a voluntary framework, based on existing standards, guidelines, and practices, to reduce cybersecurity risks to critical infrastructure.  NIST has hosted a series of workshops across the country seeking comments from CII companies, non-profit organizations, and government entities on how the framework should be constructed.  This recent draft was released ahead of the final workshop in September.  The preliminary framework is to be made available for public comment by October 10, 2013, and a final framework must be adopted by February 12, 2014. 

UTC Questions FCC on CII Spectrum Requirements

Last week, the Utilities Telecom Council (UTC) and Winchester-Cator submitted comments opposing the FCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to allocate the 14 GHz band spectrum for air-ground mobile broadband service.  The NPRM follows on the heels of the FCC’s May 2013 Order rejecting the UTC and Winchester-Cator’s 2008 Petition to open this same band for terrestrial point-to-point and point-to-multipoint communications by electric utilities, oil and gas companies, and others in the CII industry.  The most striking aspect of the May 2013 decision was the FCC’s assertion that CII entities had no need for additional spectrum.  In this recent filing, UTC/Winchester-Cator contested this finding and argued the FCC failed to provide a reasoned judgment for dismissing the UTC/Winchester-Cator petition.  They further requested the FCC include the 2008 petition as part of the record in this rulemaking proceeding.  Reply comments are due September 23, 2013. For more information, please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4296).

Register Today – Quarterly K&H Webinar on CII Telecom Issues

Keller and Heckman LLP attorneys will host a complimentary webinar for clients and friends of the firm at noon Eastern on September 25, 2013, to discuss key telecom issues facing the Critical Infrastructure industries. This webinar is the third in a series addressing current events at the FCC of particular interest to CII companies, including FCC developments, wireless spectrum issues, licensing and enforcement trends, network services, pole attachments, and cybersecurity.  

Corporate Counsel Corner: National Security Agencies’ Role in Telecom Transactions 

Last week, the Wall Street Journal published an article explaining how U.S. government agencies are using the merger-approval powers to increase monitoring and oversight of the national telecom industry.  U.S. telecom companies merging with foreign companies, such as Japan’s Softbank Corp. acquisition of Sprint Corp. and foreign-owned T-Mobile’s merger with MetroPCS Communications Inc., have been required to enter into security agreements with U.S. national security agencies.  These agreements have required companies to provide streamlined access to their communications networks and allow national security agencies to monitor certain communications.  Some agreements have provided for government approval of new equipment purchases and inspections of the company’s communications infrastructure.  For more information on these issues, please contact Doug Jarrett (Jarrett@khlaw.com; 202.434.4180).

Annual FCC Regulatory Fees

Late last month, the FCC released a Report and Order announcing regulatory fees for fiscal year 2013.  Licensees of certain facilities, such as Satellite Earth Stations, are required to make annual regulatory fee payments which are due by September 20, 2013.  For many licensed facilities, such as private microwave and land mobile systems, the regulatory fees are paid as part of the application fee at the time an application for new or renewed authority is submitted to the Commission.  The regulatory fees for many Private Land Mobile Radio Service licenses will remain the same, but licensees holding 470-512 MHz, 800 MHz or 900 MHz licenses will notice a slight increase.  

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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.