• 911 Reliability Rules, Drone Privacy, Millimeter Wave Radar Frequencies, FirstNet Meeting, Complimentary Webinars: Pole Attachments and Emergency Communications, Vol XII, Issue 10
  • April 6, 2015 | Authors: C. Douglas Jarrett; Gregory E. Kunkle; Thomas B. Magee; Tracy P. Marshall
  • Law Firm: Keller and Heckman LLP - Washington Office
  • 911 Reliability Rulesnetwor

    Last week the FCC released an Order extending the Comment and Reply Comment period for its proposed rules governing the reliability of 911 infrastructure. The proposed rules expand those adopted by the FCC last year in a number of ways. (Vol. XI, Issue 18). For example, the new rules would expand the scope of entities subject to the FCC’s reliability rules to include all entities that provide 911, E911, or NG911 capabilities (including both wireline and wireless providers). 911 Service Providers also would be required to notify the FCC and public of major changes to network architecture and the scope of 911 services offered. Finally, these companies would be required to secure FCC approval to discontinue, reduce, or impair existing 911 services. Comments and Reply Comments are due March 23 and April 21, respectively.

    Drone Privacy

    Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) introduced the “Drone Aircraft Privacy and Transparency Act of 2015” last week. The Bill would require Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) operators to file a data collection statement with the FAA that describes the circumstances under which drones may be operated, the type of information operators would collect about individuals or groups, and how they would use or disclose the data. Also last week, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) released a Request for Comment (RFC) on privacy, transparency, and accountability issues regarding commercial and private use of UAS. Comments are due April 20, 2015.

    Millimeter Wave Radar Frequencies

    Last month, the FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Reconsideration Order (NPRM and RO) proposing to expand radar applications in the 76-81 GHz band. Applications include using the band for aircraft-mounted radar on the ground to avoid collisions, providing collision warnings for ship-to-shore cranes, and offering train detection for automatic control functions. The NPRM and RO has now been published in the Federal Register, so comments and reply comments are due April 6 and April 20, respectively.

    FirstNet Activities

    The FirstNet Board has approved a public notice seeking comment on interpretations of FirstNet’s enabling legislation, including issues related to network policies, funding and state plans. The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee plans to hold a hearing March 11 on FirstNet. In addition, FirstNet is scheduled to convene meetings of the Board Committees (Governance and Personnel; Technology; Outreach; and Finance) on March 24, and the entire Board will hold an open public meeting on March 25. FirstNet’s annual report to the Congress is also available.

    Complimentary Webinars: Pole Attachments and Emergency Communications

    Keller and Heckman will be hosting two complimentary webinars. At 1:00 EDT on March 10th, in a webinar for electric utilities, attorneys Tom Magee and Jack Richards will discuss a recent, favorable decision from the FCC clarifying rates for ILECs attaching to joint use poles as well as the impact of the FCC’s “Net Neutrality” decision on pole attachment rights and obligations. Please click here to register for this 30-minute webinar. At 1:30 p.m. EDT on March 12th, Al Catalano will be joined by Rear Admiral Ronald Hewitt, USCG (Ret.), Director, Office of Emergency Communications, DHS to discuss the critical role of the nation’s utilities in national security and with FirstNet. Please click here to register.