• Net Neutrality, Proposed Drone Regulations, TCPA Petition, Complimentary Pole Attachment Update Webinar, Complimentary Emergency Communication Plan Webinar, K&H Attorneys to Speak at IWCE Conference, Vol XII Issue 8
  • March 27, 2015 | Authors: C. Douglas Jarrett; Gregory E. Kunkle; Thomas B. Magee
  • Law Firm: Keller and Heckman LLP - Washington Office
  • Net Neutrality & Municipal Broadband

    The Commission’s Open Meeting Agenda for its February 26, 2015 meeting confirms that the FCC will vote on two widely anticipated orders: Net Neutrality and Community Broadband. The Commission will vote on Title II-based Open Internet Rules which are expected to include prohibitions on blocking access to legal content, throttling, and paid prioritization.. The Commission will also consider a Memorandum Opinion and Order in response to petitions for declaratory rulings filed by two municipalities requesting that the FCC preempt state laws that limit expansion of municipal broadband networks.

    New Drone Regulations

    The FAA has released a new Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that seeks to allow routine use of certain small, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) within the United States. The FAA’s overview of the NPRM defines safety rules for small UAS (under 55 pounds) conducting non-recreational operations. Operational limitations include daylight-only flights within line-of-sight with a maximum airspeed of 100 miles per hour and a maximum altitude of 500 feet above ground level. The NPRM also laid out operator certification requirements such as an aeronautical knowledge test administered by an FAA-approved testing center and preflight inspections, among others. Comments will be due within 60 days of the date of publication in the Federal Register, which has not yet occurred.

    TCPA Petition

    On February 12, 2015 the Commission released a Public Notice requesting comments on a Petition by Citizens Bank, N.A. (Citizens) concerning the scope of prior express consent under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) as it applies to non-telemarketing calls to cell phone numbers. The TCPA prohibits, among other things, autodialed or prerecorded/artificial voice calls to any telephone number assigned to a service in which the recipient is charged for the call absent prior express consent. Citizens requests clarification that making a cell phone number publicly available for normal business communications constitutes prior express consent to receive non-telemarketing calls (e.g., debt-collection) to such number. Comments are due March 16, 2015 and reply comments are due March 31, 2015. This petition is one of many that have been filed with the FCC relating to interpretation of various TCPA provisions.

    Complimentary Pole Attachment Update Webinar

    Electric utilities and their representatives are welcome to join K&H attorneys Tom Magee and Jack Richards for a complimentary Webinar discussing a recent, favorable decision from the FCC clarifying rates for ILECs attaching to joint use poles, as reported in the Alert on February 18, 2015, as well as the impact of the FCC’s “Net Neutrality” decision on pole attachment rights and obligations. The 30-minute Webinar will be held from 1:00-1:30 P.M. EST on Tuesday, March 10, 2015. The webinar is complimentary, but registration is required. Please click here to register.

    Complimentary Emergency Communications Plan Webinar

    At 1:30 p.m. EDT on Thursday, March 12, Keller and Heckman will host a complimentary webinar discussing the National Emergency Communications Plan and the critical role of the nation’s utilities in national security. Al Catalano, Keller and Heckman Counsel, will be joined by Rear Admiral Ronald Hewitt, USCG (Ret.), Director, Office of Emergency Communications, DHS. The webinar is complimentary, but registration is required. Click here to register.