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Volume XII, Number 335

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Telecom Alert: Oregon Utilities Wildfire Mitigation Order; 6 GHz Device Testing Proposal; EAS R&O Adopted; Broadband Grant Tax Bill [Vol. XIX, Issue 40]

Oregon Utilities Wildfire Mitigation Order

To address wildfire risks, the Oregon Public Utility Commission issued an order requiring utilities to inspect communications attachments and provide notices to correct, even on poles they do not own.  Utilities may assess a 25% surcharge to remediate violations of Safety Rules not timely corrected, in order to provide “incentives” to communications attachers and because the reallocation of utility staff “can impose real constraints on utilities.”

6 GHz Band Device Testing Proposal

Last week, several entities filed an ex parte letter with the FCC asking the Commission to conduct a week-long test of the University of Michigan’s Wi-Fi 6E network.  Earlier this year, the University of Michigan deployed 15,500 Wi-Fi 6E indoor access points throughout its campus, replacing more than 16,000 legacy Wi-Fi access points.  The entities urge the Commission to work with the University to gather data on the network so that accurate models of Wi-Fi 6E products based on current operations can be used to analyze the interference environment in the 6 GHz band.

Emergency Alert System R&O Adopted

The FCC adopted a Report and Order at its Open Meeting last week updating its rules surrounding the Emergency Alert System (“EAS”) to make alert messages more informative and easier for the public to understand (Vol. XIX, Issue 37).  Specifically, the Commission now requires EAS participants to transmit alerts in the IP-based Common Alerting Protocol (“CAP”) format, as opposed to the legacy version of alerts, when available.  It also revised the prescribed text that participants must use to identify certain alerts be eliminating technical jargon and replacing it with plain language terms. 

Broadband Grant Tax Bill Introduced

Last week, a bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation that would exempt broadband grants from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the American Rescue Plan from becoming taxable income.  Currently, grants awarded for broadband deployment are factored into a company’s income and will be subjected to additional taxes due to scheduled changes to the corporate tax code beginning next year.  The bill notes several broadband deployment grants that the exemption would apply to, including Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (“BEAD”) grants, State Digital Equity Capacity Grants, and Digital Equity Competitive grants, among others.  Please see Keller and Heckman’s original blog post on this issue. 

© 2022 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 276
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About this Author

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

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,...

202-434-4128
Timothy A. Doughty, Keller Heckman, Telecommunications Licensing Specialist, Lawyer, FCC Matters Attorney
Associate

Timothy Doughty joined Keller and Heckman in 2009 as a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Licensing Specialist.

Mr. Doughty assists clients with the preparation of FCC applications, modifications, special temporary authorities, requests for rule waiver, renewals and spectrum leases in various radio services including Private Land Mobile, Microwave, Coast and Ground and Aircraft. His capabilities also include the preparation of tower registrations with the FCC and Obstruction Evaluations and Aeronautical Studies with the Federal Aviation...

202.434.4271
Gregory E. Kunkle, Keller Heckman, regulatory attorney, FCC lawyer
Partner

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...

202-434-4178
Wesley K. Wright, Keller Heckman, Telecommunications Lawyer, FCC Enforcement Attorney, DC
Partner

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,...

202.434.4239
Casey Lide Communication Attorney Keller & Heckman Washington, DC
Partner

Casey Lide represents clients on a broad range of communications matters including telecommunications, cable television, broadband Internet access service, wireless communications, right-of-way management, pole and conduit attachments, and barriers to community broadband initiatives.

Casey counsels public- and private-sector clients on contract drafting and negotiation matters, including fiber optic IRUs and leases, easements, franchises, attachment agreements, ISP service agreements, interconnection and collocation agreements, strategic MoUs and others.   

He collaborates...

202-434-4186
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