Each year since 2014, a wide range of Drinker Biddle lawyers, including Telecom Highlights contributors Laura Phillips, Lee Petro and Anthony Glosson, have written the Practising Law Institute (PLI) Telecommunications Law Answer Book, a 600-plus page comprehensive overview of the legal and regulatory issues faced by the telecommunications industry. Each year the content is updated to reflect new legal, regulatory and policy developments. Laura Phillips serves as the publication’s Editor.
The Answer Book is presented in an easy-to-read Q&A format, and offers expert guidance on numerous issues for practitioners, corporate general counsels and senior management, and other professionals in the many areas of the telecommunications industry. Topics highlighted in this year’s Answer Book include, among others:
Pending Proposals to Reclassify Broadband Internet Access Service
Regulatory Developments to Support 5G Mobile Services
Cybersecurity US Executive Order
Repealed Broadband Privacy Rules
Executive-Branch Ethics and Gift Rules
Recent Antitrust/Sherman Act Claims
New Developments with the Connect America Fund
Revisions to FCC Foreign Ownership Rules
For more information, please visit the PLI site here
In a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) released last week, the FCC sought input on the state of 911 capabilities in office and other enterprise environments (Enterprise Communications Systems, or “ECS”). The FCC expressed concern about continuing reports of several difficulties in accessing 911 services through ECS, including:
Lack of direct 911 dialing – e.g., a requirement to dial 9-911 to dial out to emergency services.
Lack of ability to route calls to the closest Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP).
Failure of some ECS networks to provide PSAPs with detailed information about the caller’s location.
At its monthly Open Meeting on June 22, the FCC voted to issue a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) finding that Adrian Abramovich (Abramovich) apparently perpetrated one of the largest spoofed robocall campaigns that the agency has ever investigated. Through its Enforcement Bureau (Bureau), the FCC concurrently released a separate Citation and Order notifying Abramovich of violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) as well as the federal wire fraud statute by making illegal telemarketing calls to emergency lines, wireless phones, and residential phones, and that the calls included prerecorded messages falsely claimed affiliation with well-known U.S. travel and hotel companies, thus defrauding unsuspecting consumers receiving these calls. Continue reading FCC Acts on Serial Spoofing; Warns that TCPA and Wire Fraud Activities Must Cease→
Following an explosion in September in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City and discovery of other unexploded homemade bomb devices, the New York Police Department identified a suspect, Ahmad Khan Rahami, who was sought in connection with the bombings and attempted bombings in Manhattan and New Jersey. For the first time ever in this circumstance, the NYPD used a communications tool initially known as the “Commercial Mobile Alert System” (CMAS) and later renamed to be “Wireless Emergency Alerts” or WEA to function as an electronic wanted poster. This was in contrast to more familiar uses of this emergency communications capability, such as the localized transmission of severe weather advisories or Amber Alerts. Under FCC rules, these alerts are originated by authorized federal, state and local governments, and they currently are used to geographically target 90-character messages that fall into three distinct categories: Presidential, Imminent Threat, and Amber Alerts. Continue reading The New York Police Department’s Use of Wireless Emergency Alert System to Seek Help in Locating Bombing Suspect: A New Use for these Alerts→
On July 18, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that there will be a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) on September 28, 2016, at 2:20pm Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). All EAS Participants are required to participate during the National EAS Test, and they must register with the FCC’s new EAS reporting system by August 26, 2016. Continue reading EAS National Test Deadlines Announced→
Each year, Drinker Biddle lawyers contribute to the Practising Law Institute (PLI) Telecommunications Law Answer Book, an annually published, 600-plus page comprehensive overview of the legal and regulatory issues faced by the telecommunications industry.
The book provides a comprehensive overview of the recent Congressional and FCC initiatives on data privacy and security and the restrictions on foreign ownership of U.S. communications companies regulated by the FCC, as well as other topics, including:
A full discussion of the 2015 Open Internet rules, recently upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on June 14, 2016;
An update on the FCC’s actions to permit ILECs to retire their copper plants and the consumer information requirements when ILECs reduce or discontinue traditional wireline services;
A review of the new rules for radio stations transitioning their public files to an online database;
An update on recent social media issues, including ownership of social media accounts and the FTC’s regulation of native advertising practices; and
A discussion of the FCC’s recent actions regarding the Incentive Auction, and new opportunities for the experimental use of spectrum.
On May 26, 2016, the FCC’s Media Bureau issued a Public Notice with the stated purpose of providing advance notice of the eligibility standards for Low Power television (“LPTV”) and TV Translator licensees seeking to file displacement applications in a future filing window. With the commencement of the Incentive Auction, the Media Bureau sought to provide permittees sufficient time to construct their authorized facilities if they wish to participate in the first displacement filing window to be opened shortly after the end of the Incentive Auction.
On May 25, 2016, the FCC released a Notice Of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) seeking comment on two proposed modifications to the local public file requirements for commercial broadcast stations and cable operators. The proposed changes come on the heels of the FCC’s decision in January 2016 to implement the Online Public Inspection File system for radio broadcast stations and cable operators with more than 1,000 subscribers, as well as DBS and satellite radio licensees.