FCC Stays Portion of Broadband Privacy Rules

Last week, in a 2-1 vote, the FCC granted a temporary stay of one of the broadband privacy rules adopted last year. That rule, which pertains to data security, would otherwise have taken effect on March 2. FCC Chair Ajit Pai and FTC Acting Chair Maureen Ohlhausen issued a joint statement supporting the stay. Petitions for Reconsideration of the broadband privacy rules remain pending before the FCC. For more information, please read “FCC Takes Initial Step to Give Privacy, Security Authority Back to FTC” by Keller and Heckman Attorneys Sheila Millar, Tracy Marshall, and Nathan Cardon.

Discussion Draft of Next Generation 9-1-1 Bill Released

Senator Nelson (D-FL), Ranking Member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, and Senator Klobuchar (D-MN), a co-chair of the Congressional NextGen 9-1-1 Caucus, released a draft bill focused on Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG 9-1-1) service. The Next Generation 9-1-1 Act of 2017 aims at advancing the deployment of NG 9-1-1 services and upgrading the nation’s 9-1-1 systems. The Association of Public-Safety Officials (APCO) released a statement praising the Discussion Draft, stating they especially support “provisions recognizing the need for standards and resources to support PSAPs.” For more information, please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239).

PSCR Receives 175 Proposals in Response to $30 million Program to Fund Communications Research

The NIST Public Safety Communications Research Program application process closed last Tuesday after receiving 175 proposals. The $30 million federal funding opportunity will provide up to $1 million annually to research projects designed to accelerate innovation in six technology areas: Mission-critical voice, Location-based services, Public-safety analytics, Communications-demand modeling, Research and prototyping platforms and Resilient systems (Vol. XIV, Issue 3). PSCR officials hope to select awardees by their annual stakeholder meeting, June 12 to 14. For more information, please contact Al Catalano (catalano@khlaw.com; 202.434.4207).

The Commission Receives Comments on Amtrak Wi-Fi Waiver

On February 27, the comment period closed on a January Public Notice issued by the Office of Engineering and Technology, which sought comment on an Amtrak waiver request. Amtrak requested a waiver to allow its trackside network (TSN) in the Northeast Corridor to operate in the 5GHz band, with the goal of providing high-speed Wi-Fi to passengers. The Wi-Fi Alliance “applauds Amtrak for recognizing Wi-Fi as a key component of service to its customers,” but believes the Commission should require Amtrak “to provide further evidence of compatibility with other 5GHz operations.” Similarly, the IEEE 802 requested more technical details regarding Amtrak’s network. Globalstar, Inc supported Amtrak’s wavier. For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (Kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).

KH Webinar: 5G Wireless-Challenges and Opportunities for Electric Utilities

On March 23, 2017, at 1:00 PM EST, Keller and Heckman will host a one-hour webinar on the impacts on investor-owned, cooperative and municipal electric utilities as wireless carriers roll out small cells and deploy 5G technology. An overview of these mega-trends will be provided as a backdrop for the discussion on the major challenges and possible opportunities for electric utilities with this phase of commercial wireless deployment. Legislative and regulatory developments will be highlighted. The session will include an overview of the new demands wireless carriers are placing on infrastructure providers. For more information and to register, please click here.