Telecom Alert: June 19, 2017 - Pole Attachment/Wireline Infrastructure Proceeding; Wireless Construction Obligations; FirstNet Update; Texas Small Cell Law; NTIA Requests Comment on Cybersecurity
Pole Attachment/Wireline Infrastructure Proceeding
Comments have been filed in the Pole Attachment/Wireline Infrastructure Proceeding on behalf of the Coalition of Concerned Utilities, a group of 12 investor-owned utilities, proposing solutions to problems with communications attachers and explaining the need for utility pole owner cost recovery.
WTB Wireless Construction Obligations
The FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) issued a Public Notice last week reminding licensees of “their existing obligations to timely meet the construction and coverage deadlines set forth in the Commission’s rules (collectively, ‘construction obligations’).” The WTB stated that “the Commission’s rules and case law impose limits on the types of arguments and factual circumstances that would qualify a licensee for an extension” and therefore issued a Public Notice to remind licensees that enforcing the FCC’s construction obligations will remain consistent.
At its June 22nd meeting, the FCC will consider a Report and Order adopting procedures for reviewing alternative plans from states that “opt-out” of the FirstNet radio access network (“RAN”) or coverage plan within their state. A major issue is whether an opt-out state will also be able to operate its own core under the Act. Preliminary indications from the FCC are that a state is not prohibited from this option under the law as long as the state core is interoperable with FirstNet. Last week, Rhode Island became the latest state to issue a request for proposal to identify a vendor to build and maintain the state’s RAN if the governor decides to opt-out of the nationwide AT&T- FirstNet plan.
Texas Law Establishes Small Cell Deployment Policies
Last week, Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R-TX) signed a bill into law establishing regulations for the deployment of small cell wireless facilities in public rights-of-way. The law, which goes into effect September 1, specifies requirements regarding fees, charges, rates, and management of small cell facilities in public rights-of-way. CTIA applauded the Governor’s actions, stating that the implementation of the bill will facilitate the deployment of next-generation 5G, which will have a positive effect on Texas’ economy.
NTIA Promotes Stakeholder Action in Securing Cyber Networks
In an effort to advance the President’s Cybersecurity Executive Order, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration issued a Notice of Request for Comment, soliciting stakeholders (private industry, academia, civil society, and security experts) “to comment on actions that can be taken to address automated and distributed threats to the digital ecosystem” and to determine the role of the US government in this task. Comments are due by July 13.