Keller and Heckman Telecom Business Alert -- Vol. VIII Issue 8: National Broadband Map, Net Neutrality, Utility Poles, Tower Safety

Keller and Heckman LLP

Broadband Map Illustrates Coverage Shortfalls in United States

On February 17th, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, in collaboration with the Federal Communications Commission, released the results of a national survey on broadband adoption in the form of a searchable Broadband Map. The map illustrates the government's challenges in making broadband accessible to all citizens. While broadband adoption has increased by almost five percent in the last year, large geographic areas of the country have little (if any) access to broadband, especially in the southern and western U.S. Given the difficulty and expense of "last mile" buildout, it is highly probable that efforts to bring broadband to these rural areas will focus on wireless service.

House Hearing on Net Neutrality Shows Partisan Split

Chairman Julius Genachowski and the FCC found themselves in the middle of a Congressional crossfire last week at a House hearing on the FCC's recently adopted Net Neutrality Order. House Republicans presented a united front against the Order, claiming that the Order exceeded the Commission's authority and expressing fears that the government was exerting too much control on the Internet. Meanwhile, House Democrats voiced concerns that the Order did not go far enough, worrying about large industries taking command of the Internet. Prior to the hearing, Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, introduced an amendment to the Continuing Resolution (i.e., the federal budget bill) seeking to bar any federal funds from being used to implement the Net Neutrality Order.

Complimentary Pole Attachment Conference Call

As noted in last week's Telecom Alert, the FCC is scheduled to vote April 7th on its much-anticipated Order in the Pole Attachment proceeding. One day later, 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. If you would like to join the call, please contact our Meeting Coordinator Kara Hardie at hardie@khlaw.com or at 202.434.4298. Meanwhile, if you have questions, please feel free to contact either Jack (202.434.4210; richards@khlaw.com) or Tom (202.434.4128; magee@khlaw.com).

K&H Video Minute: David Sarvadi on Tower Safety Procedures

While the Video Minute frequently showcases professionals in our Telecommunications Group, Keller and Heckman LLP has skilled attorneys in a variety of different fields whose experience may benefit your company. In today's Video Minute, Partner David Sarvadi analyzes a recent OSHA decision and explains how telecommunication construction projects can use a comprehensive safety program to maximize OSHA compliance and limit potential liability. To view the Video Minute, click here: The Importance of OSHA Compliance for Telecommunications Construction Projects.

Cell Phone Tower Maintenance

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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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