July 2, 2022

Volume XII, Number 183

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Telecom Alert: Pole Attachment Pleading Cycle; 988 Hotline Bill Introduced; Combatting Digital Discrimination NOI; USF Contribution Factor [Vol. XIX, Issue 12]

Pole Attachment Rulemaking Pleading Cycle

Last week, the FCC adopted a Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking to establish standards on pole attachment sharing costs (Vol. XIX, Issue 9).  The Commission seeks comment on whether it should adopt guidelines for when and how utilities should be required to pay a proportional share of the total pole replacement costs, and the scope of refund liability to pole owners. Comments and reply comments are due 60 and 90 days after publication in the Federal Register, respectively.  

Bill to Support 988 Suicide Hotline

Last week, Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-CA) introduced a bill supporting the 988 national suicide prevention hotline (Vol. XVIII, Issue 47). The bill would authorize $441 million to fund technology, training, and operations for more than 250 regional and local lifeline call centers, $240 million in federal support for the 988 hotline each of the next five fiscal years, and $100 million for a new pilot program to create or enhance existing mobile crisis response teams in communities.

Combatting Digital Discrimination NOI

The FCC released a Notice of Inquiry last week seeking comment on ways to implement provisions in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act requiring the Commission to combat digital discrimination and promote equal access to broadband.  Specifically, the Commission seeks input on what rules it should adopt to facilitate equal access and what data it should rely on.  It also asks for comment on how to revise its public complaint process to accept complaints related to digital discrimination.

23.8% USF Contribution Factor

The FCC’s Office of Managing Director announced that the proposed universal service contribution factor for the second quarter of 2022 will be 23.8%, absent action from the Commission.  The 23.8% assessment on end-user interstate and international telecom service revenues is projected to meet the 2nd quarter’s revenue requirement of $1.664 billion for the four original universal service programs (E-Rate, rural health care, high-cost, and Lifeline) and the Connected Care Pilot Program. 

© 2022 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 81
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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
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
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
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