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Telecom Alert - Minnesota 911 Outage; Broadband DATA Act; Call for WEA System Test Participants; Network Resiliency Webinar; UTC - Vol. XVI, Issue 24

Minnesota 911 Outage

Last August, Minnesota experienced a 911 outage, which resulted in nearly 700 failed 911 calls.  The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission held a meeting to review actions CenturyLink has taken to prevent similar outages from happening in the future.  CenturyLink reported that it had been working with public safety officials regularly to make improvements, but Commissioners were not satisfied.  The Commission voted 5-0 to require more meetings between CenturyLink and public safety officials.

Broadband DATA Act

Senators Wicker (R-MS), Peters (D-MI), Thune (R-SD), and Klobuchar (D-MN) introduced S.1822, the Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability (DATA) Act, last week.  The bill aims to resolve Broadband mapping issues and, if enacted, “would require the FCC to issue rules relating to the collection of data with respect to the availability of broadband services and for other purposes.”  The introduction of the bill coincided with a hearing regarding oversight of the FCC.  At the hearing, Senator Wicker emphasized the importance of resolving inaccuracies with the Broadband map prior to making any more Broadband funding decisions.

Call for WEA System Test Participants

The FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau issued a Public Notice seeking entities authorized by FEMA to send alerts using the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) to participate in a test of the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system.  Specifically, the Commission seeks to test the geotargeting capabilities of Commercial Mobile Service (CMS) providers.  The Commission plans to partner with at least one alert originator for the test.  Interested alert originators should submit an expression of interest in PS Docket Nos. 15-91 and 15-94, which explains how they meet criteria listed in the Public Notice by July 11, 2019.

Network Resiliency Webinar

Today, the FCC held a Webinar “to discuss available resources and best practices for small and rural communications providers regarding network reliability and security.”  The webinar provided information on improving cybersecurity, reliability, resiliency, and interoperability.  A recording of the webinar will be available in several days on the FCC’s streaming events page.

© 2020 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume IX, Number 168


About this Author

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. 

Mr. Jarrett represents technology companies in securing amendments to the FCC rules to enable the...

Gregory E. Kunkle, Keller Heckman, regulatory attorney, FCC lawyer

Gregory Kunkle joined Keller and Heckman in 2006. Mr. Kunkle practices in the area of telecommunications, with an emphasis on assisting corporate clients and trade associations with various legal and regulatory matters before the Federal Communications Commission.

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,...

Tracy Marshall, Keller Heckman, regulatory attorney, for-profit company lawyer

Tracy Marshall assists clients with a range of business and regulatory matters.

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.

In the privacy, data security, and advertising areas, she helps clients comply with privacy, data security, and consumer protection laws, including laws governing telemarketing and...

Wesley K. Wright, Keller Heckman, Telecommunications Lawyer, FCC Enforcement Attorney, DC

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,...