Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert
August 10, 2001, 9:00 AM ET, Alert No. 246.
TLJ Home Page | News from the Web | Calendar | Search | Back Issues
FCC Studies Broadband Deployment
8/9. The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) held a meeting at which it addressed deployment and use of broadband Internet access services. It released a summary of its latest statistics, which show rapid growth in the number of broadband subscribers. It also adopted a third notice of inquiry (NOI) into broadband deployment under Section 706 of the Telecom Act.
The FCC released summary statistics on broadband penetration. It stated that "High-speed lines connecting homes and businesses to the Internet increased by 63% during the second half of the year 2000, to a total of 7.1 million. The rate of growth for the full year was 158%." See, FCC release.
The FCC also adopted, but did not release, a NOI, as required by Section 706 of the Telecom Act of 1996, into whether "advanced telecommunications capability" is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion. See, FCC release. (See, CC Docket No. 98-146.)
The five FCC Commissioners all praised the merits of broadband Internet access and expressed the desire to see its rapid deployment. The FCC's last Section 706 report [PDF], issued on August 21, 2000, found that deployment of advanced telecommunications capability generally appeared reasonable and timely. However, it added the usual "digital divide" rhetoric about certain groups being left behind.
Commissioner Michael Copps stated that he is not satisfied with current progress. He states that "we need to entertain the notion of moving away from the tone that most everything is on track, that progress in rural areas and inner cities is being made, and might not be quite as much as we like, but we are on track, and everything is going to be fine. The fact is that we face an incredible infrastructure buildout here, that I think is comparable to any of the infrastructure buildouts that we have had in the history of the United States." See also, prepared statement submitted by Commissioner Kevin Martin.
EPIC Seeks Discovery from DOJ in its Carnivore FOIA Suit
8/9. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed a Motion to Stay Proceedings Pending Discovery [PDF] with the U.S. District Court (DDC) in its action against the Department of Justice (DOJ) to compel compliance with its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for records pertaining to the FBI's Carnivore e-mail surveillance program.
EPIC filed its Original Complaint for Injunctive Relief in August 2000. The DOJ has searched for, and produced, some records in response to EPIC's FOIA request. It has also moved for summary judgment. EPIC asserts that "the record raises substantial doubt as to the adequacy of the FBI's search. This doubt can only be resolved through the discovery ..." EPIC seeks a stay of proceedings on the DOJ's motion for summary judgment while it conducts discovery. See also, EPIC's Carnivore litigation page.
NextWave's 3G Plans
8/9. NextWave Communications held a press briefing in Washington DC at which corporate executives described their plans to build out a Third Generation (3G) wireless network optimized for bringing broadband Internet access to mobile computing devices.
NextWave is currently in Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The FCC has cancelled its C block licenses and re-auctioned them to other parties. However, the U.S. Court of Appeals (DCCir) issued an opinion on June 22 holding that the FCC is prevented from canceling NextWave's spectrum licenses by  525 of the Bankruptcy Code. On August 6 the FCC filed a motion for stay pending a petition for writ of certiorari. On the same day NextWave filed a reorganization plan with the bankruptcy court.
NextWave P/CEO Allen Salmasi stated that he expects that the Supreme Court will issue an order denying the FCC's petition for writ of certiorari late this year. He also stated that NextWave does not need FCC approval to proceed at this time with buildout operations; it will, however, need FCC approval to go on air.
NextWave officers stated that it will employ CDMA technology that will initially provide a peak transmission rate of 144 Kbps, and later a peak rate of 2 Mbps. They also stated that NextWave plans to operate as a "carriers' carrier" that will sell its wireless services at wholesale rates to "Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) distribution partners". 
BuildNet Files Chapter 11 Petition
8/8. BuildNet and six of its subsidiaries filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition in U.S. Bankruptcy Court (MDNCar). NxTrend Technology, a wholly owned subsidiary of BuildNet, is not included in the petition. BuildNet, of Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, provides management software to homebuilders and suppliers in the residential construction industry. NxTrend Technology, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, makes supply chain management software. See, BuildNet release.
RUS Amends Rules
8/9. The USDA's Rural Utilities Service (RUS) published a notice of rule changes in the Federal Register pertaining to the financing of new telecommunications services. The notice states that the RUS is "amending its regulations covering lien accommodations under certain circumstances where the borrower's financial strength is sufficient to protect security for the Government's loans and the lender seeking a lien accommodation." See, Federal Register, August 9, 2001, Vol. 66, No. 154, at Pages 41755 - 41772.
About Tech Law Journal
Tech Law Journal is a free access web site and e-mail alert that provides news, records, and analysis of legislation, litigation, and regulation affecting the computer and Internet industry. This e-mail service is offered free of charge to anyone who requests it. Just provide TLJ an e-mail address.

Number of subscribers: 1,955.
Contact: 202-364-8882; E-mail.
P.O. Box 15186, Washington DC, 20003.
Privacy Policy
Notices & Disclaimers
Copyright 1998 - 2001 David Carney, dba Tech Law Journal. All rights reserved.
Privacy and Surveillance Cameras
8/8. The Supreme Court of the Oregon issued its opinion in Oregon v. Clay, a criminal case regarding Oregon's photo radar law. Defendant, Sara Clay, was convicted under Oregon's photo radar surveillance law (ORS 811.123) of driving 11 miles per hour over the speed limit. The Oregon Court of Appeals affirmed, but the Oregon Supreme Court reversed. The Supreme Court did not hold the statute unconstitutional. Rather, the Court reversed on evidentiary grounds. It held that since the state had not presented evidence that Clay was either the driver or registered owner of the car, the conviction cannot stand.
Trade Promotion Authority
8/9. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) gave a speech at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC in which he criticized President George Bush on a wide range of foreign policy issues. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) responded by criticizing the Democrats' positions on trade promotion authority (TPA), and by calling upon Sen. Daschle to set a date for taking up TPA legislation in the Senate.
Sen. Daschle's speech covered many issues. It also touched upon trade and TPA (which is also known as fast track). He stated that "We need to recognize that the benefits of trade come with real costs, and to the extent we recognize those costs and address them, we better position ourselves to maintain and enhance our status as the world's leading economic power. We need to address head-on the concerns and fears that people have about globalization. But we should not use these concerns as a pretext for protectionism. As we move forward in opening markets and increasing trade, we need to address core labor standards and environmental protections, and help people who are dislocated by trade and globalization."
Sen. Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, and a leading proponent of TPA, responded to Sen. Daschle's speech. He stated that "It's ironic that the Democrats are trying to characterize President Bush and the Republicans as isolationists. It's President Bush who is leading the effort to get trade promotion authority through the U.S. Congress. Trade promotion authority is the key to unlocking new export markets for U.S. agriculture, manufactured goods and services. Trade promotion authority is vital to maintaining U.S. economic leadership in the world. It seems hypocritical for Democratic party to be criticizing President Bush for his leadership abroad when it is they who have stymied our efforts here at home to get the President the tools he needs to lead.
Sen. Grassley also said that "I would call upon them to set a date certain to take up legislation granting the President trade promotion authority in the Senate this year. Scheduling a vote on trade promotion authority would show real leadership and speak much louder than words ever could."