Budget Stopgap Keeps FCC Open, But Shutdown Could Mean Serious Delays
While the narrowbanding initiative has already slowed application processing times at the FCC, another challenge looms on the horizon. The federal budget remains a topic of serious contention on Capitol Hill, and failure to resolve the situation could mean a federal shutdown that would probably suspend all non-public safety operations at the FCC. Congress avoided a shutdown on March 4th by passing a two-week stopgap funding measure to give Congress more time to negotiate a budget for the balance of this fiscal year. If there is no agreement by March 18th the Commission's work will be suspended, which could exacerbate the backlog of wireless applications.
Avoid FCC Fines: Keep An Eye on Your Towers
Who is watching your towers? An FCC decision last week proposed a fine of $6,000 against KFW Communications, LLC for failure to observe the lights on an antenna structure at least once each 24 hours, after KFW laid off the employee responsible for monitoring one of its towers and did not replace him. The FCC's rules require daily monitoring of towers for lighting outages, either visually or by automated means. If an automated system is used, the Commission requires quarterly inspection to ensure the lights are functioning, The FCC recently has been granting waivers that replace the quarterly inspection requirement with an annual requirement for tower owners that employ advanced tower monitoring systems. For more information, contact Greg Kunkle (202.434.4178; firstname.lastname@example.org).
Broadband Map A Smash Hit
The recent release of the National Broadband Map by the NTIA and FCC was, according to officials, an exceptional success. A blog posting on the Broadband Map site pointed to huge numbers of people accessing the Map, including a staggering 158 million hits on the first day. Those interested in viewing the map may click here on National Broadband Map.
Keller and Heckman LLP at the International Wireless Communications Expo This Week
Keller and Heckman LLP attorneys Doug Jarrett, Greg Kunkle, Wes Wright, and Licensing Specialist Tim Doughty will attend the International Wireless Communications Expo in Las Vegas, NV, March 8-11. Doug will participate on a panel entitled "Public and Private Partnerships for Communications Networks: Assessing Opportunities" on March 10th at 11:15 AM, and Greg will be a panelist for a session entitled "Intrinsically Safe Radio – Meeting the New Standards", on March 10th, at 1 PM. Please contact Doug (202.434.4180; email@example.com) or Greg (202.434.4178; firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions, or stop by Keller and Heckman llp booth #4115.
Complimentary Pole Attachment Conference Call; Partner Tom Magee to Speak at RMEL Conference
As noted in February 14th's Telecom Alert, the FCC is scheduled to vote April 7th on its much-anticipated Order in the Pole Attachment proceeding. Keller and Heckman LLP attorneys Jack Richards and Tom Magee, who represent a group of nine electric utilities (the "Coalition of Concerned Utilities"), will conduct a complimentary one-hour conference call from 1:00-2:00 p.m. Eastern Time on April 8 to analyze the decision with Coalition members and other clients and friends who are not already represented by outside counsel in this proceeding. If you would like to join the call, please contact our Meeting Coordinator Kara Hardie at email@example.com or at 202.434.4298. Meanwhile, if you have questions, please feel free to contact either Jack (202.434.4210; firstname.lastname@example.org) or Tom (202.434.4128; email@example.com).
Additionally, Tom will be speaking on smart grid and pole attachment issues at RMEL's Distribution Operations Conference this week in Denver, Colorado. Tom will be delivering a presentation entitled "The FCC's National Broadband Plan: Smart Grid and Pole Attachments" on March 10th at 8:30 AM.
K&H Video Minute: Jack Richards on the Telecom Alert Survey
In this week's Video Minute, K&H Partner Jack Richards discusses the results from the Telecom Business Alert's recent survey, and outlines Keller and Heckman's future efforts to address issues of concern. For this week's Video Minute, click here: Partner Jack Richards Discusses Telecom Alert Survey Results and Future Topics in this Week's Telecom Video Minute.
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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.
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