Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert
Nov. 16, 2000, 8:00 AM ET, Alert No. 65.
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New TLJ Stories

FCC Requests Comments on Whether § 271 InterLATA Services Includes Information Services. The FCC issued a request for comments on whether the term "interLATA services" as used in Section 271 of the Communications Act includes "information services". Regional Bells want to provide information services across LATA boundaries without first satisfying the FCC that they have complied with the Section 271 checklist. The issue also goes to the FCC's power to regulate Internet services.
New Documents

NTIA: Interim Report on finding spectrum for 3G wireless in the 1755-1850 MHz Band, 11/15 (HTML, NTIA; also in 800 KB PDF file).
FCC: Interim Report on on finding spectrum for 3G wireless in the 2500-2690 MHz Band, 11/15 (report and appendices in MS Word, and report and appendices in PDF, FCC).
FCC: request for comments re whether §271 "interLATA services" includes "information services", 11/15 (MS Word, FCC).
Mineta: speech re trade, e-commerce, and electronic signatures, 11/15 (HTML, DOC).
Kalicki: speech re the New Economy and the Middle East, 11/15 (HTML, DOC).
ITA: final results of DRAMs anti dumping review, 11/15 (TXT, FedReg).
New and Updated Sections

News from Around the Web.
Quotes of the Day

The following are excerpts from the speeches in opposition to the Foreign Sales Corporation bill during floor debate on Nov. 14. (The bill passed on a vote of 316 to 72, and Bill Clinton will sign it.)
"What are some of the other top FSC corporate welfare queens? Motorola, Caterpillar, Allied-Signal, Cisco Systems ... Cisco Systems is not suffering. Raytheon is not suffering. Microsoft is not struggling mightily to keep its head above water."

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR)
"Now, software was mentioned. Those poor folks in Seattle. Software? ...  And this poor overtaxed Bill Gates is walking around, so we subsidize his sales overseas."

Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA)
"We are now witnessing trade war protectionism being administered by the World (Government) Trade Organization--the WTO. For two years now we have been involved in an ongoing trade war with Europe and this is just one more step in that fight. With this legislation the U.S. Congress capitulates to the demands of the WTO. ... The Europeans have already complained and have threatened to file suit in the WTO against the Americans for selling software products over the Internet. Europeans tax their Internet sales and are able to get their products much cheaper when bought from the United States thus penalizing European countries. Since the goal is to manage things in a so-called equitable manner the WTO very likely could rule against the United States and force a tax on our international Internet sales."

Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX)
News Briefs

11/15. The NTIA released a 47 page "Interim Report" as a part of its ongoing process of identifying spectrum for use for 3G wireless. Third generation wireless systems will provide high-speed Internet access and other broadband services from portable devices. The report is titled "Federal Operations in the 1755-1850 MHz Band: The Potential for Accommodating Third Generation Mobile Systems" [available in multiple HTML documents, or a single 800 KB PDF file]. The FCC released its 62 page "Interim Report" titled "Spectrum Study of the 2500-2690 MHz Band: The Potential for Accommodating Third Generation Mobile Systems" [report and appendices in MS Word | report and appendices in PDF]. Greg Rohde (NTIA), Tom Sugrue (FCC/WTB), and Linton Wells (Defense Dept.) explained the reports at an event in Washington DC. See also, 1 page NTIA release.
1/15. AT&T announced it will spin off Liberty Media Group, which it acquired through its acquisition of TCI, contingent upon a favorable tax ruling. AT&T stated that it "expects to convert the Liberty Media tracking stock into an asset-based security and launch Liberty Media Group as an independent, publicly traded company in the second quarter of 2001." AT&T further stated that "This step also gives AT&T the option of deciding to use the spin off of Liberty Media to comply in large part with one of the three conditions set forth by the Federal Communications Commission in its June order approving AT&T’s merger with MediaOne." See, AT&T release. See also, FCC's web section on the AT&T MediaOne merger, CS Docket No. 99-251.
11/15. The FCC issued a request for comments [MS Word] on whether the term "interLATA services" as used in § 271 of the Communications Act includes "information services". This section, which was a key part of the Telecom Act of 1996, prevents RBOCs from providing interLATA (long distance) telephone service until the FCC has determined that they have opened up their facilities to competitors. The FCC has only just begun to grant such permissions. The RBOCs do not want § 271 to prevent them from providing interLATA data services. The FCC determined in its Non-Accounting Safeguards Order that "interLATA services" includes information services. Bell Atlantic (now Verizon) and USWest (now Qwest) filed a petition for review [PDF] in the U.S. Court of Appeals (DCCir) seeking to overturn this part of the Order. On Oct 27 the Court remanded the matter to the FCC for the purpose of conducting this inquiry. Comments are due by Nov. 29, and reply comments are due by Dec. 11. The RBOCs have also been heavily lobbying the Congress to pass legislation to provide them this interLATA data relief; and, many Members of Congress support them, and have introduced legislation to provide this result. See, for example, HR 2420, the Internet Freedom and Broadband Deployment Act of 1999.
11/15. sold to Universal Music Group warrants to purchase up to 3,000,000 shares of common stock. The warrants are exercisable at prices ranging from $3.75 to $5.00 per share and range in term of one to three years. See, release.
11/15. Microsoft filed a complaint in U.S. District Court (DAz) against Coast 2 Coast Office Supply for distributing counterfeit copies of MS Office Professional 2000 and Project 98 in violation of Microsoft copyrights and trademarks. See, MSFT release.
11/15. Sec. of Commerce Norman Mineta is on a 10 trip to Singapore, Brunei, and Viet Nam. He gave a speech and answered questions from the press in Singapore on Nov. 15. He was asked about electronic signatures. He stated: "We have just only passed it in the United States not too long ago and, I think, everyone is just going to have to get comfortable with the mechanism on how this works. I think the important thing is to make sure that there's both confidence in the business community, as well as in the consumer community, about the legality and the full standing of electronic signatures, electronic contracts as they are with normal paper contracts. And, I think, even in the United States we're just starting to feel our way through that whole effort. ... I'm not really familiar with what Singapore has in law ... I would hope that they will see the value of it and move along in making it for the full scope of electronic commerce." Sec. Mineta also gave a speech to a Chamber of Commerce group.
11/15. ICANN published a report prepared by its staff which makes recommendations regarding election of at large members. It recommends that ICANN should solicit comments, and then establish a study committee.
11/15. The Commerce Dept.'s NTIA and Defense Dept. have agreed to jointly perform a vulnerability assessment of critical infrastructures in the Rocky Mountain Corridor, comprising facilities located in Colorado and Wyoming. NTIA's role is to coordinate the vulnerability assessments with companies that have critical communications and information nodes in the region. Presidential Decision Directive 63 [PDF] establishes the Commerce Dept. as the lead agency for physical and cyber protection of the information and communications sector. See, NTIA release. Background: NTIA's Critical Infrastructure Assurance page.
11/15. The Import Administration, of the International Trade Administration, of the Department of Commerce, published in the Federal Register the final results of is anti-dumping administrative review regarding DRAM semiconductors of 1 Megabit or above from Korea. The review covers two manufacturers, Hyundai and LG Semicon, and four exporters. [Fed. Reg., Nov. 15, 2000, Vol. 65, No. 221, at pages 68976-68978.]
11/15. Jan Kalicki, Counselor to the Dept. of Commerce, gave a speech in NYC titled "From Old Economy to New Economy in the Middle East". Quote: "the United States government has sought to include cooperation on electronic commerce as a substantial element of our bilateral economic relationships in the region."
11/14. published a release which stated that "it will voluntarily shut down the Scour Exchange community within 48 hours to facilitate a resolution of pending litigation and a sales of its assets in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court."
Editor's Note: This column includes all News Briefs added to Tech Law Journal since the last Daily E-Mail Alert. The dates indicate when the event occurred, not the date of posting to Tech Law Journal.

12:15 PM Today

The Federal Communications Bar Association will host an event titled "The Future of the On-Line Revolution." The speaker will be Michael Aisenberg, Director of Public Policy for Network Solutions. Location: Donna N. Lampert Associates, 1750 K Street, NW, 5th Floor Conference Room. RSVP to Scott Harris.

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