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Telecom Alert — DC Circuit Net Neutrality Ruling; CA 911 Outage Reporting; CAF Requirements, VoIP, and 800 MHz Re-Banding to be Considered at October Open Meeting; NHTSA Awards $1.7 Million in 911 Grants — Vol. XVI, Issue 40

DC Circuit Net Neutrality Ruling

On October 1, the D.C. Circuit issued its decision on the FCC’s 2017 Restoring Internet Freedom Order (Order) (Vol. XVI, Issue 3), upholding the FCC’s reclassifying broadband Internet access service as an information service and repealing the comprehensive net neutrality rules adopted in the 2015 Open Internet Order.  In affirming the FCC’s determination that broadband is an information service, the court vacated a provision of the Order that preempted states from imposing their own open Internet regulations, noting the FCC has no regulatory authority over information services.  Applying the same logic, the court remanded the Order’s rulings on pole attachments and the Lifeline program for further Commission review.  

California 911 Outage Reporting Bill

Last week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed into law Senate Bill 670 and Senate Bill 560, which regulate communications during 911 outages and public power shut offs (Vol. XVI, Issue 27).  SB 670 requires telecommunications service providers that offer access to 911 service to notify the Office of Emergency Services (OES) within 60 minutes of discovering a community isolation outage that limits the provider’s customers’ ability to make 911 calls or receive emergency notifications.  It also makes the OES responsible for notifying any applicable county office of emergency service and the sheriff of any county affected by the outage.  SB 560 requires that emergency departments, health care facilities, and telecommunication providers receive prior notification of de-energizing events when their facilities will be impacted by a planned power shutdown.  

CAF Requirements, VoIP, and 800 MHz Re-Banding to be Considered at October Open Meeting

On Friday, the FCC published a tentative agenda for its next Open Meeting on October 25, 2019.  Among other items, the Commission will consider an Order on Reconsideration that would modify the testing procedure requirements for carriers that receive Connect America Fund (CAF) support (Vol. XV, Issue 28).  It will also consider a Declaratory Ruling that would clarify the New and Emerging Technologies 911 Improvement Act of 2008 (NET 911 Act) to ensure regulatory parity in 911 fees between VoIP services and traditional telecommunications services.  Additionally, the Commission will consider an Order and Sixth Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would streamline rules and procedures to expedite the completion of the 800 MHz re-banding (Vol. XVI, Issue 20).  

NHTSA Awards $1.7 Million in 911 Grants

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awarded $1.7 million in funding to the National Association of State 911 Administrators (NASNA) last week to improve the effectiveness of the 911 network.  The five-year agreement with NASNA is part of $1.8 million in funding that NHTSA is providing to five non-governmental partner organizations to enhance highway safety.  

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C. Douglas Jarrett, Keller Heckman, telecommunications lawyer, procurement law

Douglas Jarrett joined Keller and Heckman in 1979. Mr. Jarrett specializes in telecommunications law, policy and procurement matters.

Mr. Jarrett is a recognized expert in representing enterprises in negotiating telecommunications services agreements with the major wireline and wireless carriers, domestically and globally.  He also advises enterprises on M2M services, cloud computing and IVR technology procurements. 

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Mr. Kunkle regularly counsels critical infrastructure companies, such as electric utilities, oil and gas companies, and railroads, public safety agencies, and commercial providers regarding FCC wireless licensing and compliance issues.  He assists clients in identifying and acquiring wireless spectrum through a variety of means, including spectrum leasing, purchase and sale of licenses, and the FCC's auction process. His spectrum acquisition practice spans all of the FCC’s wireless frequency allocations, including the 220 MHz band, AMTS (217/219 MHz), VHF/UHF Part 22 Paging, the 1.4 GHz band, Part 90 800/900 MHz bands, MAS, the 2.5 GHz EBS/BRS band, and the 700 MHz band.

Mr. Kunkle counsels clients that become involved in the FCC's enforcement process including by responding to and vigorously defending against complaints and investigations and, where appropriate, negotiating settlements with the Commission. 

Thomas B. Magee, Keller Heckman, transactional counsel, litigation attorney, FCC law, safety violation lawyer

Thomas Magee joined Keller and Heckman in 2000. Mr. Magee provides regulatory, transactional and litigation counsel to investor-owned electric utilities, electric cooperatives and municipalities regarding pole attachments and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) licensing of private wireless telecommunications services.

Mr. Magee has helped to resolve dozens of pole attachment disputes affecting make-ready costs, safety violations, unauthorized attachments, annual rental rates and other terms and conditions of access. He negotiates,...

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In the business and transactional area, Ms. Marshall advises for-profit and non-profit clients on corporate organization, operations, and governance matters, and assists clients with structuring and negotiating a variety of transactions, including purchase and sale, marketing, outsourcing, and e-commerce agreements.

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Wesley Wright joined Keller and Heckman in 2006 and practices in the areas of telecommunications law.  He assists corporate clients and trade associations with various legal and regulatory matters before the Federal Communications Commission, Federal Aviation Administration, courts and state agencies.

Mr. Wright’s practice includes private wireless licensing, FCC enforcement, and related transactional matters.  He counsels clients on internal operations and governance matters and has drafted and negotiated asset purchase agreements,...