FCC Adopts Broadband Consumer Privacy Rules

At its Open Meeting last week, the FCC adopted a comprehensive set of rules for protecting the confidentiality and security of information that broadband internet service providers (ISPs) acquire from customers. The Report and Order has not been released, but according to the FCC, the rules (among other things) require ISP’s to obtain opt-in consent from consumers to share and use sensitive information like geo-location, financial information, children’s information, and the content of communications, and the use and sharing of non-sensitive information is subject to opt-out consent (Vol. XIII, Issue 41). The rules apply to broadband Internet access service providers but do not extend to on-line content providers or social media platforms, including those operated by broadband service providers. For more information, please contact Tracy Marshall (marshall@khlaw.com; 202.434.4234).

Enforcement Bureau Imposes $100k Fine

The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau issued an Order imposing a $100,000 penalty against Simple Network, Inc., for willfully providing interstate telecom services without registering with the Commission, thereby avoiding making payments to the Universal Service Fund (USF), Telecom Relay Services (TRS) Fund, and numbering support mechanisms. The Bureau found that the company failed to comply with the Commission’s rules by not submitting a Universal Service Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet in 1997 when the company initially began providing service. For more information, please contact Doug Jarrett (jarrett@khlaw.com; 202.434.4180).

Google Fiber “Pause”

Google Fiber announced last week that in order to “stay ahead of the curve” it has “refined” its plan to “enhance” its focus on “new technology and deployment methods”, and so will “pause” its operations in its “potential fiber cities” and reduce its workforce. This announcement was not unexpected. For more information, please contact Tom Magee (magee@khlaw.com; 202-434-4128).

FirstNet Delayed

FirstNet CEO Mike Poth announced on FirstNet’s blog that it will miss the November 1, 2016 goal for awarding the contract for the construction of the nationwide public safety broadband network. Although Poth stated FirstNet has made “significant progress” toward awarding a contract, he noted that it is a highly complex acquisition and many of the factors are outside FirstNet’s control. Poth did not provide an updated timeline for the award of the contract, which is now down to just two bidders: AT&T and Rivada Mercury. For more information, please contact Al Catalano (Catalano@khlaw.com; 202.434.4207).

Part 22 Paging License Crackdown

Mission Critical Communications published an article authored by Keller and Heckman partner Greg Kunkle discussing a recent denial of several Part 22 Paging license construction deadlines. The article outlines licensees’ buildout obligations and the FCC’s recent efforts to prevent spectrum warehousing in the band. For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).