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Keller and Heckman LLP Telecom Business Alert – 900 MHz Broadband, Drones, Net Neutrality, FirstNet, NG911, And Data Security

900 MHz Reallocation |

Almost a dozen parties filed comments last week in response to the FCC’s Public Notice seeking input on a supplement to the Petition for Rulemaking filed jointly by Pacific DataVision, Inc. (PDV) and the Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA).  The Petition seeks to realign the 900 MHz (896-901/935-940 MHz) Private Land Mobile band by creating a paired 3 MHz segment to be made available for critical infrastructure broadband operations on terms and conditions to be negotiated by the parties.  Existing narrowband operations on these frequencies would be relocated to a paired 2 MHz allocation.  Many of the commenters objected to the Petition and urged the FCC to carefully evaluate whether it is practical to repurpose the 900 MHz band at this point.   Others raised concerns regarding adjacent channel interference to popular meter reading equipment.  Reply comments must be filed by July 14.  For additional information, please contact Jack Richards (; 202.434.4210).

Drones in the NFL

Three NFL teams have used drones in recent weeks to film practices, according to Bloomberg.  However, it generally remains illegal to operate drones without first securing a waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration.  The FAA initiated a rulemaking proceeding earlier this year with the goal of allowing routine use of certain small, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) within the United States.  Proposed operational limitations include daylight-only flights within line-of-sight with a maximum airspeed of 100 miles per hour and a maximum altitude of 500 feet above ground level.  The NPRM also laid out operator certification requirements such as an aeronautical knowledge test administered by an FAA-approved testing center and preflight inspections, among others.  These rules have not yet been adopted by the agency.  For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (; 202.434.4178).

Net Neutrality            

Last week, the FCC issued a Public Notice answering questions regarding the agency’s procedure for issuing Advisory Opinions under the new Open Internet rules.  (See, Vol. XII, Issue 11).  In addition to prohibiting blocking, throttling and paid prioritization, the new rules enable the FCC to prohibit practices that unreasonably interfere with or disadvantage the ability of consumers to reach Internet content, services, or applications of their choosing.  Companies may request the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau issue an Advisory Opinion as to whether a prospective new business practice will violate these rules.  In the Public Notice, the Bureau refused to adopt a deadline by which it must respond to requests for an Advisory Opinion and also indicated that it may, in its discretion, refuse to respond to some requests.  Advisory Opinions issued by the Bureau will be publicly available on the FCC’s website.  For additional information, please contact Doug Jarrett (; 202.434.4180).

FirstNet and NG911

Last week, the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council released an overview summarizing the similarities, differences, and interconnectivity requirements between FirstNet’s public safety broadband network and next generation 911 networks.  Both FirstNet and NG911 networks share a common goal of improving communications during emergencies through a nationwide, IP-based architecture.  NG911 networks will enhance public safety by allowing the public to share relevant data (voice, text, data, photos, and videos) directly with a PSAP.  FirstNet’s broadband network is expected to allow this information to be shared with first responders in the field.  For additional information, please contact Al Catalano (; 202.434.4207) or Wes Wright (; 202.434.4239).

FTC Issues Data Security Guidance

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued new data security guidance for businesses.  The guidance is not new, but includes ten tips gleaned from more than 50 law enforcement actions the FTC has taken against companies for data security missteps.  For more information, contact Tracy Marshall (; 202.434.4234).

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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 © 2015.  All rights reserved.  Articles may be copied with attribution.  To sign up for our weekly alert, please send us an email at and provide us with your name and email.  Please follow us on twitter at @KHtelecom.

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