|FCC Releases Agenda for December
12/13. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
agenda [2 pages in PDF] for its event on Wednesday, December 20, 2006, titled
The agenda states that the FCC will consider a Report and Order and Further
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding Section 621(a)(1).
Section 621 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended by the Cable
Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992, is codified at
47 U.S.C. § 541. Subsection (a)(1) provides that "A franchising authority
may award, in accordance with the provisions of this subchapter, 1 or more
franchises within its jurisdiction; except that a franchising authority may not
grant an exclusive franchise and may not unreasonably refuse to award an
additional competitive franchise. Any applicant whose application for a second
franchise has been denied by a final decision of the franchising authority may
appeal such final decision pursuant to the provisions of section 555 of this
title for failure to comply with this subsection."
The FCC adopted a
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) [26 pages in PDF] on November 3, 2005.
The FCC released the text of this NPRM on November 18, 2005. It is FCC 05-189.
This proceeding is MB Docket 05-311. See also, story titled "FCC Adopts NPRM
Regarding Local Franchising of Video Services" in
TLJ Daily E-Mail
Alert No. 1,247, November 4, 2005.
The agenda also states that the FCC will consider a 9th NPRM regarding public safety
communications in the 700 MHz band. This proceeding is WT Docket No. 96-86.
The agenda also states that the FCC will consider a Report on cable industry
prices. This proceeding is MM Docket No. 92-266.
The agenda also states that the FCC will consider a Declaratory Ruling (DR) regarding
whether internet protocol (IP) captioned telephone service is a form of telecommunications
relay service (TRS) compensable from the Interstate TRS Fund. This proceeding is CG Docket
However, this agenda does not include consideration of a Memorandum Opinion and Order
regarding the merger of AT&T and BellSouth.
This event titled "Open Meeting" is scheduled for 9:30 AM on Wednesday,
December 20, 2006 in the FCC's Commission Meeting Room, Room TW-C305, 445 12th Street, SW.
The event will be webcast by the FCC. The FCC does not always consider all of the items
on its published agenda. The FCC sometimes adds items to the agenda without providing the
"one week" notice required
5 U.S.C. § 552b. The FCC does not always start its events at the scheduled time, or
at all. The FCC usually does not release at its events copies of the items that it adopts
at its events.
|Rep. Pelosi Announces Some Committee
12/12. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who will be the Speaker of the House in the
110th Congress, announced some new members of House committees. See,
release. Subcommittee assignments and Chairs have not yet been announced.
Rep. elect Steve Cohen (D-TN) was named to the
House Judiciary Committee (HJC).
Tennessee state senator, will represent the Memphis, Tennessee, district
previously represented by Rep. Harold Ford (D-TN), who ran unsuccessfully for
the US Senate.
Seven sitting Representatives, and one Representative elect, were named to
the House Commerce Committee (HCC):
Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA),
Boswell (D-IA), Rep. Darlene Hooley
(D-OR), Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY),
Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT),
Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC),
Rep. Charlie Melancon
(D-LA), and Rep. elect Baron Hill (D-IN).
See also, Rep. Hooley's
release, Rep. Boswell's
and Rep. Melancon's
Rep. Pelosi passed over Rep. Harman in naming Rep. Sylvestre Reyes (D-TX) to be
Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee (HIC). She was the ranking Democrat on the
HIC in the 109th Congress. See, Rep. Harman's
TLJ spoke with an assistant to Rep. Pelosi who said that she "hasn't decided
ratios yet", and that further assignments could be made. He added that there is
"no way to get a full roster of committee" memberships until January.
Rep. Weiner, who has been named to the HCC, and Rep. Van Hollen, who has been
named to the House Ways and Means
Committee (HWMC), are both currently members of the HJC. Rep. Weiner is also
a member of the Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property.
Both the HCC and the HWMC are designated as exclusive committees. Rep. Weiner
and Rep. Van Hollen must give up their current HJC assignments, unless they request
and receive waivers. There are precedents for members sitting on both the HJC and HCC,
such as Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA).
Neither Rep. Weiner's nor Rep.Van Hollen's offices immediately returned phone
calls from TLJ.
|Sen. Tim Johnson
12/13. Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD) is hospitalized
in Washington, DC. See,
Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) which states that Sen. Johnson
"has suffered a possible stroke". There is a possibility that Republicans could
regain control of the Senate as a result.
The partisan balance in the Senate is 51-49. Were Sen. Johnson to leave the Senate, the
partisan balance would become 50-49. Were the Governor of South Dakota, who is Republican
Michael Rounds, to appoint a Republican
replacement, the partisan balance of the Senate would become 50-50. The Constitution
provides that the Vice President, who is currently the Republican Dick Cheney, breaks tie
votes in the Senate. See also,
statement of Gov. Rounds.
The US Constitution, at Article I, Section 3, paragraph 4, provides in part
that "The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate,
but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided."
The US Constitution, at Amendment XVII, provides in part that "When vacancies
happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such
State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature
of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the
people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct."
South Dakota Codified Laws, at
12-11-4, provides as follows: "Temporary appointment by Governor to fill vacancy
in United States Senate. Pursuant to the Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution of the
United States of America, the Governor may fill by temporary appointment, until a special
election is held pursuant to this chapter, vacancies in the office of senator in the Senate
of the United States."
12-11-1 provides as follows: "Special election to fill congressional vacancy --
Time of election of representative. If a vacancy occurs in the office of a senator or
representative in the United States Congress it shall be the duty of the
Governor within ten days of the occurrence, to issue a proclamation setting the
date of and calling for a special election for the purpose of filling such
vacancy. If either a primary or general election is to be held within six
months, an election to fill a vacancy in the office of representative in the
United States Congress shall be held in conjunction with that election,
otherwise the election shall be held not less than eighty nor more than ninety
days after the vacancy occurs.
Also, the South Dakota Constitution, at Article IV, Section 3, provides that
"Whenever a vacancy occurs in any office and no provision is made by the
Constitution or laws for filling such vacancy, the Governor shall have the power
to fill such vacancy by appointment."
|About Tech Law Journal
Tech Law Journal publishes a free access web site and
subscription e-mail alert. The basic rate for a subscription
to the TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert is $250 per year. However, there
are discounts for subscribers with multiple recipients. Free one
month trial subscriptions are available. Also, free
subscriptions are available for journalists,
federal elected officials, and employees of the Congress, courts, and
executive branch. The TLJ web site is
free access. However, copies of the TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert are not
published in the web site until one month after writing. See, subscription
P.O. Box 4851, Washington DC, 20008.
Copyright 1998 - 2006 David Carney, dba Tech Law Journal. All
|Washington Tech Calendar
New items are highlighted in red.
|Thursday, December 14
The House and Senate will next meet at 12:00 NOON on Tuesday,
January 4, 2007. See,
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Day one of a two day conference hosted by the
Federal Communications Bar Association (FCBA) and the
Practicing Law Institute titled "Telecommunications
Policy and Regulation". See,
agenda [MS Word] and
registration form [MS Word]. The price to attend ranges from $1,165.50 to
$1,295. The price for FCC employees is $25. Location: Washington Hilton Hotel, 1919
Connecticut Ave., NW.
Deadline to submit initial comments to the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) regarding the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration's (NASA) request for a waiver of the FCC's Calling Party
Number rules. This proceeding is CC Docket No. 91-281. See,
notice in the Federal Register, November 29, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 229, at
|Highlights of Conference Titled
"Telecommunications Policy and Regulation", Thursday, December 14.
9:15 AM. Exchange between FCC Chairman
Kevin Martin and Richard
Wiley (Wiley Rein & Fielding).
9:45 AM. Panel titled "Congressional Panel". The speakers will be
James Assey (Senate Commerce
Committee), Colin Crowell
(House Commerce Committee), and
Lisa Sutherland (Senate Commerce Committee). The moderators will be
Clark Wadlow (Sidley
Austin) and Gerard Waldron
(Covington & Burling).
11:00 AM. Speech by Thomas Navin (Chief of the FCC's
Wireline Competition Bureau).
11:30 AM. Panel titled "Developments in Wireline Communications".
The speakers will be Henry Rivera (Vinson & Elkins), Riley Temple (Halprin
Temple), Michelle Carey (Legal Advisor to FCC Chairman
Kevin Martin), Earl Comstock
(Comptel), Paul Glenchur (Stanford
Washington Research Group), Robert Quinn (AT&T),
(Iowa Utilities Board), and Lisa Zaina
(Independent Telephone & Telecommunications
12:30 PM. Luncheon speech by
2:00 PM. Speech by Catherine Seidel (acting Chief of the FCC's
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau).
2:30 PM. Panel titled "Developments in Wireless Communications".
The speakers will be
Brinkmann (Latham & Watkins), William Anaya (Motorola), Carolyn Brandon (CTIA–The
Wireless Association), Paula Ford (Microsoft), Aaron Goldberger (Legal
Advisor to FCC Commissioner
Deborah Tate), Peter Pitsch (Intel), and Thomas Sugrue (T-Mobile USA).
3:45 PM. Speech titled "Tutorial on Internet Developments" by
Farber (Carnegie Mellon University).
4:30 PM. Speech by
Kneuer, acting head of the NTIA.
|Friday, December 15
9:00 AM - 12:45 PM. Day two of a two day conference hosted by the
Federal Communications Bar Association (FCBA) and
the Practicing Law Institute titled
"Telecommunications Policy and Regulation". See,
agenda [MS Word] and
registration form [MS Word].
The price to attend ranges from $1,165.50 to $1,295. The price for FCC employees is
$25. Location: Washington Hilton Hotel, 1919 Connecticut Ave., NW.
9:30 AM - 12:30 PM. The National Archives and
Records Administration (NARA) Information Security Oversight Office's (ISOO)
Public Interest Declassification Board (PIDB) will hold a meeting. See,
notice in the Federal Register, December 5, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 233, at Pages
70550-70551. Location: NARA, Rooms 500 and 501, 700 Pennsylvania
Deadline to submit initial comments to the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) to assist the Wireless
Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) in drafting a report on the ability of persons
with hearing disabilities to access digital wireless telecommunications. See, FCC
Notice [4 pages in PDF] (DA 06-2285). This proceeding is WT Docket No. 06-203.
Deadline to submit initial comments to the
Office of the US Trade Representative regarding the
operation, implementation and effectiveness of all trade agreements regarding
telecommunications products and services to assist it in preparing its annual Section
1377 report. See,
notice in the Federal Register, November 15, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 220, at
|Highlights of Conference Titled
"Telecommunications Policy and Regulation", Friday, December 15.
9:00 AM. Speech by FCC Commissioner
9:30 AM. Panel titled "Developments in Homeland Security".
The speakers will be
(Wiley Rein & Fielding), Peter Fonash (Deputy Manager of the DHS's National
Communications System), Robert Gurss (APCO International), Kenneth Moran (Director
of the FCC's Office of Homeland Security).
10:30 AM. Panel titled "Network Neutrality". The speakers
will be Scott Cleland (NETCompetition.org), Gigi Sohn (Public
Knowledge), and Diane Cornell (Inmarsat)
11:15 AM. Panel titled "Telecommunications Future". The
speakers will be Michele Farquhar (Hogan & Hartson), Richard Wiley
(Wiley Rein & Fielding), Dale Hatfield (University of Colorado at
Boulder), Julius Knapp (Deputy Chief of the FCC's Office of Engineering
and Technology,), Blair Levin (Managing Director of Stifel Nicholas),
Robert Pepper (Cisco Systems), William Smith (BellSouth), and
Alexandra Wilson (Cox Enterprises).
12:15 PM. Speech by FCC Commissioner
|Saturday, December 16
|Monday, December 18
Effective date of the Report and Order (R&O) portion of
the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) R&O and Further Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking (FNPRM) in its TV white space proceeding. This item is FCC 06-156 in ET
Docket Nos. 04-186 and 02-380. The FCC adopted this item at an October 12, 2006, meeting,
and released it on October 18, 2006. See, story titled "FCC Adopts Order and FNPRM
Regarding TV White Space" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,467, October 12, 2006, and
notice in the Federal Register, November 17, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 222, at
|Tuesday, December 19
1:00 - 4:00 PM. The President's
National Security Telecommunications
Advisory Committee (NSTAC) will hold a partially closed meeting. At 1:00 PM the
NSTAC will meet in public to receive comments from government agencies, to discuss the
work of the NSTAC's Emergency Communications and Interoperability Task Force (ECITF),
and to discuss the work of the Telecommunications and Electric Power Interdependency
Task Force (TEPITF). At 3:00 PM the NSTAC will meet in secret to
discuss the Global Infrastructure Resiliency (GIR) Report. See,
notice in the Federal Register, December 4, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 232, at
Pages 70413. Location: U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 1615 H St., NW.
|Wednesday, December 20
RESCHEDULED FROM DECEMBER 14. 9:30 AM. The
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will hold a
agenda [PDF]. The event will be webcast by the FCC.
Location: FCC, 445 12th Street, SW, Room TW-C05 (Commission Meeting Room).
Deadline to submit initial comments to the
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding the petition for declaratory ruling
filed by One Stop Financial, Inc., Group Discounts, Inc., 800 Discounts, Inc., and
Winback & Conserve Program, Inc. pertaining to the AT&T tariff at issue, and
"any other issues left open by the D.C. Circuit’s Opinion in AT&T Corp. v.
FCC", 394 F.3d 933. This proceeding is WC Docket No. 06-210. See, FCC
Public Notice [3 pages in PDF] (DA 06-2360).
|Thursday, December 21
10:00 AM. The Federal Communications
Commission's (FCC) Advisory Committee on Diversity for Communications
in the Digital Age will meet. See,
notice in the Federal Register: December 6, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 234, Page
70766. Location: FCC, Room 7-C753, 445 12th St., SW.
Extended deadline to submit reply comments to the
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to
its Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) regarding its media ownership
rules. The FCC adopted this FNPRM on July 21, 2006, and released the
pages in PDF] on July 24, 2006. See also, story titled "FCC Adopts FNPRM on
Rules Regulating Ownership of Media" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,397, June 22,
2006. This FNPRM is FCC 06-93 in MB Docket No. 02-277, MM Docket No. 01-235, MM Docket No.
01-317, MM Docket No. 00-244, and MB Docket Nos. 06-121. See also, original
notice in the Federal Register, August 9, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 153, at Pages
order [PDF] extending deadlines.