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May 16, 2003, 9:00 AM ET, Alert No. 663.
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FCC Adopts Order Allowing Some Secondary Leasing of Spectrum

5/15. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted, but did not release, a Report and Order (R&O) and a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) which allows certain FCC spectrum licensees to enter into leasing arrangements with third parties.

The FCC released a press release [4 pages in PDF] announcing the R&O and FNPRM. It states that this item "(1) authorizes spectrum leasing in a broad array of wireless radio services, (2) adopts streamlined processing for certain categories of license transfer and assignment applications, and (3) seeks comment on additional steps to improve the functioning of secondary markets."

Neither the FCC release, nor the FCC Commissioners, spoke in terms of creating "property", "rights", or "ownership". The release describes the item as "a step in the Commission's evolution toward greater reliance on the marketplace".

This item is part of WT Docket No. 00-230, which was opened in 2000, during the tenure of former Chairman William Kennard. The FCC adopted its original Notice of Proposed Rulemaking [61 pages in PDF] in on November 9, 2000. See, TLJ story titled "FCC Discusses Secondary Markets for Wireless Spectrum", and TLJ news analysis titled "Mobile Internet Access Devices and the Internet", both dated November 10, 2000.

This R&O and FNPRM also builds upon the work of the FCC's Spectrum Policy Task Force (SPTF), which Chairman Powell formed in June of 2002. The SPTF solicited comments and held hearings, outside of the context of WT Docket No. 00-230, or any other rule making proceeding. See, story titled "Powell Creates Task Force to Conduct Spectrum Inquiry" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 446, June 7, 2002. The FCC announced the completion of a SPTF report on November 7, 2002. See, story titled "FCC Announces Report on Spectrum Policy" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 545, November 8, 2002. The SPTF released this Report [73 pages in PDF] on November 15, 2002. One of the many topics addressed by the report is moving towards markets for spectrum. The report recommends that "spectrum policy must evolve towards more flexible and market oriented regulatory models."

Commissioners' Comments. FCC Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy stated at the May 15 meeting that this item is "groundbreaking". FCC Chairman Michael Powell and Commissioner Kevin Martin wrote a joint separate statement [PDF] in which they stated that "Today's action is one of the most important spectrum reform decisions by this Commission in the last decade. For years, the Commission has rhetorically praised the concept and possibilities created by secondary markets in spectrum. Today that rhetoric turns into reality."

Powell and Martin also wrote that "we adopt a new regime for spectrum leases, allowing leases for which there is no change in de facto control to proceed without prior Commission approval and providing a streamlined approval process for other leases. We also adopt a streamlined approval process for transfers and assignments of licenses. Together, the rules we adopt will create new opportunities for licensees with under-utilized spectrum, to the benefit of consumers. A carrier with a business plan that calls for serving only the most densely populated portions of its service area now has every incentive to lease the balance of their spectrum to an entrepreneur. Similarly, the cost-benefit equation for spectrum sharing has been transformed. Where formerly the risk of interference imposed only costs, those costs must now be weighed against the value that may be negotiated in a lease or transfer. When cognitive radios and frequency-agile technologies are introduced to the mix, the opportunities multiply."

FCC Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy wrote in a separate statement [PDF] that "I believe that adoption of today’s Report and Order shepards in a monumental shift in spectrum policy in the United States. This item recognizes the importance of creating a market-based approach to regulation by creating a secondary market for spectrum in the wireless radio services. In doing so, it substantially updates the FCC’s standard for interpreting Section 310(d) of the Communications Act set forth in the 1963 Intermountain Microwave decision for purposes of spectrum leasing."

FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein wrote in a separate statement [PDF] that "The Commission should encourage healthy and robust secondary markets. At the same time, we must ensure that license obligations continue to be satisfied and enforced. A regulatory framework for innovation should promote a secondary market that accommodates new technologies, but does not cause the Commission to lose or cede ultimate control over the spectrum."

FCC Commissioner Michael Copps focused on several matters that are not in the R&O and FNPRM. For example, he wrote in his dissenting statement [PDF] that "I want to thank my colleagues for agreeing to eliminate several sections of the NPRM." He continued that "Beginning the process of allowing television and radio broadcasters to sell to non-broadcasters access to spectrum rights that Congress and the FCC gave them for free would have been a terrible mistake. It would have meant that broadcasters could sell control of part or all of their spectrum rights to others, potentially without Commission review. Broadcasters were given these spectrum rights for free because they are engaged in work that is critically important to our country -- the provision of free over-the-air TV and radio. To allow them to sell these spectrum rights for other uses would have been deeply troubling." He added that this would have undermined the digital transition.

He also stated that "proposing to do away with traditional FCC review of transfers of control of all licenses, including broadcast licenses, would have been a mistake. It would have meant that the FCC would no longer need actually to conduct a review of mergers and acquisitions involving FCC licenses."

Finally, he stated that "I appreciate eliminating the section that would have proposed allowing licensees to mortgage their licenses as a way to raise money." He referred to the FCC's NextWave debacle.

Highlights of the Report and Order. The R&O, as described in the FCC's release, "authorizes most wireless radio licensees with "exclusive" rights to their assigned spectrum to enter into spectrum leasing arrangements. These policies and rules affect both mobile and fixed services, including Cellular, Personal Communications Services (PCS), Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR), Local Multipoint Distribution Service (LMDS), fixed microwave, 24 GHz, and 39 GHz, among others."

This R&O replaces the FCC's 1963 Intermountain Microwave decision. See, 12 FCC 2d 559 (1963). Chairman Powell joked that that decision is as old as he is, and it is time to "put it to its long deserved rest".

The R&O's leasing rules provide that "licensees in the covered services may lease some or all of their spectrum-usage rights to third parties, for any amount of spectrum and in any geographic area encompassed by the license, and for any period of time within the term of the license."

The R&O creates two different mechanisms for spectrum leasing. First, there is the "spectrum manager" option. This "enables parties to enter into spectrum leasing arrangements without obtaining prior Commission approval so long as the licensee retains both de jure control (i.e., legal control) of the license and de facto control (i.e., working control) over the leased spectrum pursuant to the updated de facto control standard for leasing." (Parentheses and emphasis in original.)

Second, there is the "de facto transfer leasing" option. This "permits parties to enter into long-term or short-term leasing arrangements whereby the licensee retains de jure control of the license while de facto control is transferred to the lessee for the term of the lease. De facto transfer leases under this option will require prior Commission approval under a streamlined approval process."

Reaction. Tom Wheeler, P/CEO of the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA), stated in a release that "Permitting secondary markets for spectrum will deliver to carriers improved access to the airwaves, increasing their flexibility and bringing down their costs, which should ultimately result in lower prices for consumers ... Football teams aren’t done after draft day. They continue to meet their changing needs through trades and late season acquisitions. Wireless carriers deserve, and will now receive, similar flexibility."

Related Proceeding. Also, there is another open proceeding related to this one. The FCC announced a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) regarding "Additional Spectrum for Unlicensed Devices Below 900 MHz and in the 3 GHz Band" on December 11, 2002. This is OET Docket No. 02-380. The comment period is still open. See, story titled "FCC Announces Notice of Inquiry Re More Spectrum for Unlicensed Use" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 566, December 12, 2002.

FCC Adopts NPRM to Increase Unlicensed Spectrum

5/15. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted, but did not release, a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing to make available an additional 255 MHz of spectrum for unlicensed use. The FCC did issue a short press release [PDF] describing the NPRM.

The proposal, which would nearly double the amount of spectrum for unlicensed use, would not be for any exclusive use. However, the main use will likely be 802.11 (Wi-Fi) and Bluetooth devices.

The FCC stated in its release that the NPRM proposes "to make available for unlicensed use an additional 255 megahertz of spectrum in the 5.470-5.725 GHz band". It further proposes that "this spectrum be made available for use by unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (U-NII) devices, including Radio Local Area Networks (RLANs), operating under Part 15 of the FCC's rules."

The release also states that the NPRM proposes "additional technical requirements for U-NII devices, including transition periods for implementation of these requirements." It provides no further detail.

Michael PowellFCC Chairman Michael Powell (at right) wrote a separate statement [PDF]. He stated, "Once the backwater of baby monitors and cordless telephones, the unlicensed sector has developed into a hotbed of growth and innovation."

He noted that "we propose to forego exclusive-use licensing, allowing market forces to determine how the band will be used, and providing potential users the greatest possible flexibility."

He also addressed the prospects for global harmonization. "Our proposal does create the possibility of aligning the frequency bands used for U-NII devices domestically with those in other parts of the world, creating the potential for economies of scale for equipment manufacturers and a declining cost structure for consumers. But global harmonization is not yet a reality."

FCC Commissioners Kevin Martin and Michael Copps wrote a joint separate statement [PDF] that this NPRM will "the American delegation to the WRC an important tool in promoting these and other wireless applications around the globe."

FCC Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy wrote in a separate statement [PDF] that "this item promotes the deployment of broadband services via wi-fi technology". She added that "the true key to achieving Congress’s objective of a deregulatory and procompetitive framework lies in moving beyond duopoly towards a world where multiple facilities-based providers compete in the broadband arena."

Martin and Copps added that they hope that unlicensed devices "eventually provide a last-mile application to connect people's homes to the Internet, offering a real alternative to telephone wires, cable, and satellite connections."

Michael Petricone, of the Consumer Electronics Association, stated in a release that "the allocation of additional unlicensed spectrum will accelerate the rollout of new technologies, such as wireless local area network (WLAN) devices. The FCC's action will promote accessible and affordable high-speed wireless broadband, and will especially benefit Americans in rural or hard to reach areas."

This is ET Docket No. 03-122, and FCC 03-110. For more information, contact Ahmed Lahjouji at 202 418-2061.

FCC Unlicensed Spectrum NPRM and the Jumpstart Broadband Act

5/15. The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) NPRM, announced on May 15, proposing to make available an additional 255 MHz of spectrum for unlicensed use closely follows several bills pending in the House and Senate which are titled the "Jumpstart Broadband Act". However, there are also differences.

Sen. Barbara BoxerOn January 14, 2003, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) (at right) and Sen. George Allen (R-VA) introduced S 159, the "Jumpstart Broadband Act", a bill to require the FCC to allocate at least 255 megahertz of contiguous spectrum in the 5 gigahertz band for unlicensed use by wireless broadband devices. See, story titled "Sen. Boxer and Sen. Allen Introduce WiFi Spectrum Bill", in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 586, January 20, 2003. See also, TLJ copy of bill as introduced.

On January 27, 2003, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) introduced HR 340, also titled the "Jumpstart Broadband Act". Also on January 27, Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA) introduced HR 363, also titled the "Jumpstart Broadband Act". Both are companion bills to S 159, with minor differences.

Sen. Boxer stated in a release that "I commend the FCC for moving quickly to implement the allocation of spectrum our legislation requested."

Sen. Allen also praised the FCC in a release. He also stated that "Today's decision is a great victory for the technology industry, but most importantly, consumers. Now more people in their homes, schools, colleges and businesses will be able to receive high speed broadband on their laptop wirelessly. People will be able to carry their laptop computer like a cordless phone around their home, dorm room or business."

The FCC has not released its NPRM, thus making it impossible to compare the text of the NPRM to the text of the bills. However, the FCC did issue a short press release [PDF], and the Commissioners made brief statements at the May 15 meeting, and released brief written statements.

Both the legislation and the NPRM reference 255 megahertz of spectrum. The bill references its location as the "5 gigahertz band", while the NPRM is more specific. It references the "5.470-5.725 GHz band". The bill requires that the spectrum be "contiguous". The NPRM's proposal for 255 megahertz in the 5.470-5.725 GHz band is necessarily contiguous.

The bill requires the FCC to conduct an NPRM, which is just what the FCC is doing. The Allen Boxer bill, and the Honda bill require the FCC to allocate spectrum within 180 days; the Issa version allows 18 months. The bills also set deadlines for adopting "technical and device rules ". The FCC has not yet announced any timetables or deadlines.

The bill also contains a significant restriction on use not referenced so far by the FCC. The bill requires that the spectrum be used by "wireless broadband devices", which it defines in terms of speed, being two way, and being digital. The FCC referenced only wireless devices. It does not contain these "broadband" restrictions.

FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein wrote in a separate statement [PDF] that this NPRM proposes that the new unlicensed spectrum may be used for "broadband and other important services". In contrast, Sen. Allen stated that "I've been working to make further broadband deployment and Wi-Fi adoption a reality, without interference from microwave ovens, cordless phones, baby monitors, and other wireless devices."

Hence, the FCC has not stated that one way, analog, and low speed devices are excluded from using the proposed unlicensed spectrum band. Indeed, the only word in the FCC release which qualifies the use of the spectrum is the word "use". There is not even a restriction that the use be communications related.

On the other hand, the FCC regularly fails to disclose key provisions of the items that it adopts, until it releases the actual text of the item. The FCC typically takes a week to several months to release the text of its important NPRMs and orders.

The bill also requires the FCC to "adopt minimal technical and device rules to facilitate robust and efficient use for wireless broadband devices" and "amend its rules to require that all wireless broadband devices manufactured after the effective date of those rules that operate in the spectrum allocated under paragraph (1) -- (i) be capable of 2-way digital communications; (ii) meet the interference protection standards established under paragraph (2)."

Paragraph (2) pertains to interference. It provides that "the National Telecommunications and Information Administration shall, after consultation with all interested agencies and parties, including the Department of Defense, establish standards for interference protection that is reasonably required to enable incumbent Federal government agency users of spectrum allocated under paragraph (1) to continue to use that spectrum, and advise the Commission of those standards."

The FCC's release states merely that its NPRM proposes "additional technical requirements for U-NII devices, including transition periods for implementation of these requirements."

However, the FCC released a working paper [65 pages in PDF] on May 14 titled "Joint OET-OSP White Paper on Unlicensed Devices and the Associated Regulatory Issues". It does address interference associated with wireless devices, and rules that could address interference problems. See, following story.

FCC Releases Working Paper on Unlicensed Devices

5/14. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published a working paper [65 pages in PDF] titled "Joint OET-OSP White Paper on Unlicensed Devices and the Associated Regulatory Issues". The paper reviews the technology of devices that use unlicensed spectrum, and interference problems. It also recommends making available more spectrum for unlicensed devices, and the promulgation of rules to address interference problems.

The paper states that "without a well-considered and forward-looking approach to policy reform, much the benefit and promise of unlicensed devices may be delayed, or unrealized. Considering the complexity of issues involved, the FCC should promulgate rules which are as clear as practicable, strictly enforced, and maximize utility to address the fundamental problem of interference."

It concludes that "effective policy reform includes enabling more unlicensed spectrum and promulgating rules to encourage technological and market-based solutions to optimize efficient use and sharing of spectrum. The FCC must be mindful of balancing competing interests and retain the low entry barriers that have proven so successful for unlicensed spectrum."

It was written by Kenneth Carter of the FCC's Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis (OSP), Ahmed Lahjouji of the FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology (OET), and Neal McNeil of the OET.

Editor's Note. This working paper was published in the FCC website on May 14. It was subsequently removed, to make corrections and revisions. FCC staff states that it will be published again on Friday afternoon, May 16. If the above hyperlink does not operate, the working paper will be accessible from the OSP's Working Paper Series page.

Copps Disputes FCC's Authority to Allow Secondary Leasing of Spectrum

5/15. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Michael Copps questioned whether the FCC has legal authority to allow leasing of spectrum. He argued that 47 U.S.C. § 310 prohibits it. Commissioner Copps raised this matter in both his oral comments at the May 15 meeting, and in a dissenting statement [3 pages in PDF].

Section 310(d) provides: "No construction permit or station license, or any rights thereunder, shall be transferred, assigned, or disposed of in any manner, voluntarily or involuntarily, directly or indirectly, or by transfer of control of any corporation holding such permit or license, to any person except upon application to the Commission and upon finding by the Commission that the public interest, convenience, and necessity will be served thereby. Any such application shall be disposed of as if the proposed transferee or assignee were making application under section 308 of this title for the permit or license in question; but in acting thereon the Commission may not consider whether the public interest, convenience, and necessity might be served by the transfer, assignment, or disposal of the permit or license to a person other than the proposed transferee or assignee."

Michael CoppsCopps (at right) first stated that "From a policy perspective, I could support many of the ideas in today's Order." But then, he addressed the statutory perspective.

He wrote in his dissent, and read aloud at the meeting, the following: "But I keep running into the same problem and I cannot make it go away. I do not see how the law allows us to effectuate these policies. I must therefore respectfully dissent. Congress enacted Section 310(d) of the Communications Act and we must abide by it. That section makes it clear that no ``station license or any rights thereunder shall be transferred, assigned or disposed of in any manner ... except upon application to the Commission and upon finding by the Commission that the public interest, convenience, and necessity will be served thereby.´´ But today we allow licensees to transfer a significant right – the right to control the spectrum on a day-to-day basis -- without applying to the Commission and without the requirement of any Commission public interest finding. How can this be legal under Section 310(d)?" (Emphasis in original.)

He added, "Because Section 310(d) does not allow transfers without FCC approval, I remain of the opinion that the Commission, if we wish to go down this road, will have to go the Congress and seek legislative changes before proceeding with the sweeping changes it would make today. Any other approach puts us in conflict with the law."

John Muleta

John Muleta (at right), Chief of the FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, was asked about Commissioner Copps' arguments at a press conference following the FCC meeting of May 15. He stated that "It is open to interpretation. Obviously, he has a different interpretation." He did not offered a detailed statutory analysis.

Nor did Muleta state, for example, that the FCC has a long history of interpreting statutory mandates to meet the FCC's policy objectives, even when the plain meaning of the statute is to the contrary.

Powell Sticks to June 2 Date for Broadcast Ownership Biennial Review

5/15. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Michael Powell responded to the request of FCC Commissioners Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein for a delay of the June 2 consideration of media ownership rules. Powell announced in a letter to Copps and Adelstein, and in a release [PDF], that "I must respectfully decline to postpone the planned June 2nd consideration of the Broadcast Ownership Biennial Review".

On May 13, Copps and Adelstein issued a release [MS Word] which states that they have requested that the FCC "postpone the announced June 2nd consideration of changes to the Commission’s media concentration protections. Under long-standing Commission practices, such requests from Commissioners are traditionally honored." The two also "reiterated a request for a public airing of the proposed rule changes." See, story titled "Adelstein and Copps Seek Delay of FCC Action on Media Ownership" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 661, May 14, 2003.

Powell's release further stated that the FCC "will vote on the media ownership Biennial Review on June 2, 2003, as previously scheduled. In addition, the sunshine period will be extended to Friday, May 30, the last business day before the open meeting, so that Commissioners and their staffs can continue to engage the public as the Commissioners deliberate the item internally."

Copps also responded to Powell's response: "This is really disappointing. The Chairman's decision not to make these proposals public, nor even to grant a short delay in voting, runs roughshod over the requests of the American people and the precedents of this Commission. This rush to judgment means that we will not fully understand the impact of the specific proposals on our media landscape before we are forced to vote. We are rushing to passage of new rules without letting the American people know who is going to own and control the public airwaves for years to come and without gaining the benefit of their input on what is being proposed. This is no way to do business when critical issues affecting every American are at stake. I am disappointed that the Chairman refuses to heed the calls of colleagues, as well as many Members of Congress, to let the sun shine on his proposals before the Commission decides on further media concentration.”

Representatives Introduce Bill to Update Computer Professionals Exception to Overtime Pay Requirement

5/6. Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) and Rep. Robert Andrews (D-NJ) introduced HR 1996, a bill to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regarding certain technology workers. 29 U.S.C. § 213 contains exceptions to the requirement that a minimum wage and overtime be paid. Subsection (a)(17) currently states the exception for persons who are a "computer systems analyst, computer programmer, software engineer, or other similarly skilled worker".

The minimum wage for computer professionals is not at issue. This bill, and the FLSA, require that a wage far above the minimum wage be paid for this exception to apply -- $27.63 per hour. Rather, the issue is which computer and information workers must be paid overtime for over forty hours per week.

The bill would expand the language of the existing exception, and broaden the number of workers covered by the exception. The bill would also bring the language of the FLSA up to date with the changing nature of computer related work. This exception was last amended in 1996.

For example, the FLSA now references "computer systems", but neither networks, the internet, intranets nor databases. Similarly, the FLSA does not now reference computer or network security.

The bill would provide an exception for the following: "any employee who is a computer systems, network, or database analyst, designer, developer, programmer, software engineer, or other similarly skilled worker -- (i) whose primary duty is -- (I) the application of systems or network or database analysis techniques and procedures, including consulting with users, to determine hardware, software, systems, network, or database specifications (including functional specifications); (II) the design, configuration, development, integration, documentation, analysis, creation, testing, securing, or modification of, or problem resolution for, computer systems, networks, databases, or programs, including prototypes, based on and related to user, system, network, or database specifications, including design specifications and machine operating systems; (III) the management or training of employees performing duties described in subclause (I) or (II); or (IV) a combination of duties described in subclauses (I), (II), or (III) the performance of which requires the same level of skills; and (ii) who, in the case of an employee who is compensated on an hourly basis, is compensated at a rate of not less than $27.63 an hour."

This is a re-introduction of a bill introduced in the 107th Congress by Rep. Andrews and former Rep. Lindsey Graham. See, HR 1545 (107th). Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was elected to the Senate in November, 2002. He re-introduced his bill in the Senate in the current (108th) Congress as S 495 on March 3, 2003.

The National Association of Computer Consultant Businesses supports this legislation.

Friday, May 16

12:00 NOON. The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Diversity Committee will host a brown bag lunch. The speakers will be Bill Bailey and Toni Cook Bush. RSVP to Harry Wingo at 202 418-1783 or Location: Room 253, Russell Building.

Extended deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its Notice of Inquiry (NOI) [MS Word] regarding "Additional Spectrum for Unlicensed Devices Below 900 MHz and in the 3 GHz Band". Unlicensed devices would include, among other things, 802.11. See, notice in Federal Register, January 21, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 13, at Pages 2730-2733. See also, story titled "FCC Announces Notice of Inquiry Re More Spectrum for Unlicensed Use" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 566, December 12, 2002. For more information, contact Hugh Van Tuyl in the FCC's Office of Engineering & Technology at or 202 418-7506. This is OET Docket No. 02-380. See, notice of extension [PDF].

Saturday, May 17

2:00 PM. Richard Clarke will speak at the commencement ceremony at George Mason University School of Law. See, notice. Location: GMU Center for the Arts, Fairfax, Virginia campus.

Monday, May 19

The Supreme Court will return from a recess that it began on Monday, May. 5.

9:30 AM - 5:00 PM. The Federal Communications Commisssion's (FCC) Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) will host a public workshop on cognitive radio technologies. See, notice and agenda [PDF]. This event will be webcast. For more information, contact Michael Marcus at 202 418-2418 or mike.marcus or Jim Schlichting at 202 418-1547 or jim.schlichting Location: FCC, Commission Meeting Room, 445 12th Street, SW.

Tuesday, May 20

6:00 - 8:15 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association (FCBA) will host a continuing legal education (CLE) program titled "What Every Communications Practitioner Should Know About Sarbanes Oxley and Corporate Compliance". The speakers will include Tom Hickey (Assistant General Counsel, Nextel), Barry Summer (Assistant Director, Division of Corporation Finance, SEC), and Andrew Hruska (Office of the Deputy Attorney General). Location: Dow Lohnes & Albertson, 1200 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Suite 800.

Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding AOL Time Warner's petition [58 pages in PDF] requesting relief from the FCC's January 22, 2001 Memorandum Opinion and Order (MOO) approving the merger of AOL and Time Warner, and imposing conditions upon AOL Time Warner regarding instant messaging services. Specifically, AOL Time Warner seeks relief from the condition restricting its ability to offer internet users streaming video advanced Instant Messaging based high speed services (AIHS) via AOL Time Warner broadband facilities.

Deadline to submit requests to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to present oral testimony at it May 30 hearing regarding its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend its regulations to implement the Madrid Protocol Implementation Act of 2002 (MPIA). See, notice in the Federal Register, March 28, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 60, at Pages 15119 - 15138.

Wednesday, May 21

9:00 - 11:00 AM. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the U.S. Copyright Office (CO) will hold a meeting to discuss the preparation of a new text of the Hague Jurisdiction and Enforcement of Judgments Convention. See, notice. Location: USPTO, 2121 Crystal Drive, Crystal Park 2, Suite 902, Arlington, VA.

10:00 AM. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the nomination of Hewitt Pate to be Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

10:00 AM. The Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing titled "National Export Strategy". The witnesses will be Donald Evans (Secretary of Commerce), Philip Merrill (President of the Export Import Bank of the United States), Thelma Askey (Director of theU.S. Trade and Development Agency), Peter Watson (President of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation), Hector Barreto (Administrator of the Small Business Administration). See, notice. Location: Room 538, Dirksen Building.

12:00 NOON. The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Transactional Practice Committee will host a brown bag lunch. The topics will include "the purposes of opinions within the context of various transactions and typical regulatory opinion language". The speakers will include John Quale (Skadden Arps) and James Rogers (Latham & Watkins). RSVP to Margery Singleton at 202 637-2200 or margery.singleton Location: Latham & Watkins, 555 11th Street, NW, Suite 1000.

12:15 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Mass Media Practice Committee will host a brown bag lunch titled "Getting Ready for Radio Station License Renewal". The speakers will include Roy Stewart, Chief of the of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Office of Broadcast Licence Policy, and Peter Doyle, Chief of the FCC's Audio Division. RSVP to Wendy Parish at Location: NAB, 1771 N St., NW, 1st Fl. Confr. Rm.

6:00 - 8:00 PM. D.C. Bar Association's Intellectual Property Law Section will host a continuing legal education (CLE) program titled "Recent Developments in Technology Transfer with the Federal Government: Focus on Intellectual Property". The speakers will be Paul Gottlieb (Assistant General Counsel, Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property, Department of Energy), Holly Svetz (Morrison & Foerster), and Richard Litman. The prices to attend range from $70 to $90. Location: DC Bar Conference Center, 1250 H Street NW, B-1 level.

Deadline to submit comments to the Copyright Office (CO) in response to its notice of proposed rules that rules would "govern SoundExchange, an unincorporated division of the Recording Industry Association of America, Inc., when it functions as the designated agent for the purpose of receiving royalty payments and statements of accounts from nonexempt subscription digital transmission services which make digital transmissions of sound recordings under a statutory license." See, Federal Register, April 21, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 76, at Pages 19482 - 19485.

Extended deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) [MS Word] titled "In the Matter of Second Periodic Review of the Commission’s Rules and Policies Affecting the Conversion To Digital Television". This is MB Docket No. 03-15, RM 9832, and MM Docket Nos. 99-360, 00-167, and 00-168. See also, FCC release and notice in the Federal Register, February 18, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 32, at Pages 7737-7747. And see, notice [PDF] extending deadlines.

Deadline to submit "white papers" to the Office of Science and Technology Policy' (OSTP) High End Computing Revitalization Task Force (HECRTF) regarding high end computing. See, notice in the Federal Register, May 14, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 93, at Page 25888.

Friday, May 23

10:00 - 11:30 AM. The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Media Security and Reliability Council will hold a meeting. See, notice in Federal Register: November 19, 2002, Vol. 67, No. 223, at Page 69742. For more information, contact Barbara Kreisman at 202-418-1600. Location: FCC, 445 12th St. SW Room TW-C305.

Deadline to submit to the Department of Commerce (DOC) nominations for award of the National Medal of Technology. See, nomination guidelines and notice in the Federal Register, February 14, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 31, at Pages 7509.

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