$195,000 Fine for RFID Violation

The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau released an Order and Consent Decree last week imposing a $195,000 fine against ClipperData LLC for operating Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) readers without authorization. The Commission found that ClipperData failed to obtain FCC authorization prior to operating Radio Frequency Identification readers near railways to monitor rail traffic in real time. ClipperData responded to the Bureau’s investigation by stating that it did not fully understand the FCC’s licensing rules while operating 39 RFID readers without authorization. As a result, ClipperData agreed to pay a $195,000 civil penalty to the U.S. Treasury, relinquish its only FCC license, and adopt a “Contingent Compliance Plan” to be used if applying for any new licenses in the future. For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202-434-4178).

Mixed Responses to Network Outage Reporting Rules

The Commission received mixed reviews from states, telecom companies, and trade associations in comments filed responding to the FCC’s network outage reporting rules proposed in a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) in May (Vol. XIII, Issue 29). The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and several states supported the Commission’s proposal to expand outage reporting requirements to include Broadband Internet access service (BIAS) providers but opposed the idea of regulating the access or use of data by states. The US Telecom Association, CTIA, and NTCA criticized the FCC for requiring outage reports from BIAS providers, arguing the FNPRM is premature, unnecessary, and overly complicated. For more information, please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239).

FAA Drone Advisory Committee Meeting

The FAA’s new Drone Advisory Committee (DAC) will hold its inaugural meeting on September 16 at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. to discuss key issues and challenges associated with integrating unmanned aircraft in the world’s busiest and most complicated airspace system. The DAC was formed to provide an open venue for the FAA and key decision-makers supporting the safe introduction of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) into the National Airspace System (NAS). For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).

Annual Regulatory Fees

The Commission released a Report and Order on Friday adopting a schedule of regulatory fees to assess and collect more than $384M for Fiscal Year 2016. Fees across all categories of licenses were increased to offset the Commission’s facilities reduction costs (i.e., to reduce the office space footprint and/or move the FCC’s DC office location if necessary). For more information, please contact Tim Doughty (doughty@khlaw.com; 202.434.4271).