|Sen. Kerry and Sen. Snowe Write FCC
Regarding White Spaces
6/14. Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) and
Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) sent a
letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski and the
other FCC Commissioners urging the FCC to "move expeditiously to conclude the TV white
The FCC adopted its white space order on November 4, 2008, and released the
pages in PDF] on November 14, 2008. It is FCC 08-260 in ET Docket No. 04-186. See also,
stories titled "FCC Releases White Space Report" in
TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No.
1,844, October 17, 2008, and "FCC Adopts White Space Order" in
TLJ Daily E-Mail
Alert No. 1,852, November 4, 2008.
(at left) and Snowe wrote that the FCC "must pursue a harmonized
spectrum strategy of both licensed and unlicensed spectrum deployment efforts
that will allow manufacturers and consumers to construct multiple paths to the
Internet and utilize new devices for communications. Completion of the ``white
spaces´´ proceeding can help build momentum in that direction."
They argued that "geolocation technology coupled with a database should
adequately protect users and additional spectrum sensing capabilities should
only be required when absolutely necessary since such requirement would unduly
drive up the cost of white space devices and deter low cost deployment
They also addressed wireless microphones. "These microphones are used for
performing arts, places of worship, and schools and provide a valuable audio
tool to users and their audiences. However, a number of these microphones have
operated illegally on TV spectrum and such unauthorized behavior should not
continue to be allowed -- the FCC must better enforce the rules it implements."
|Baker Addresses White
6/15. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner
Meredith Baker gave a
speech [4 pages in PDF] titled "Maintaining a Spotlight on TV White Spaces
She said that "it is important for us to move forward on the White Spaces
proceeding" because "inaction has left innovators and manufacturers without
sufficient, reliable guidance".
She urged the FCC to act in three areas. "First, we need to
finalize the plans for the TV bands and provide the direction that industry
needs to plan for the future. I hope we can do this in a way that does not
prolong the deployment of devices in existing TV white spaces. As we move
forward, we must respect the rights of all parties. We must be sensitive to the
fact that manufacturers and service providers need clarity and predictability to
design and deploy compelling and economically viable devices and applications."
Second, said Baker, "we must encourage the further development of spectrum
sensing technology and establish the testing procedures for the ``proof of performance´´
standard for such devices. Spectrum sensing has the potential to help maximize our use of
available spectrum and make possible applications and devices that are not feasible with
the database alone." (Footnotes omitted.)
"Finally, there is the data base." Baker continued that "We have the luxury
of adopting policies that are visionary and progressive without rebuilding an existing system.
We need to start with a spectrum inventory -- we don't need to wait for Congress, so I hope
we get started with that soon. We need an innovative, interactive and user-friendly
data base that will not only serve the TV white spaces but also other spectrum
bands, including government spectrum and NATO bands. Over time, I would hope the
data base could draw on the intelligence of devices that can sense spectrum
around them to improve the accuracy and predictability of the database itself.
The database gives us the ability to ensure that white space devices respect the
existing uses of license holders."
She added that "the database could one day be the enabling technology that makes
development of a secondary market for spectrum a practical reality. Such a market could give
license holders and industry meaningful flexibility and improve the utilization of the spectrum
bands that are already allocated. We can also do a better job of sanctioning those who don't
respect the data base and its related rules -- but that is a topic for a different
The FCC's proceeding is ET Docket No. 04-186.
|Four Senators Oppose Appropriations Rider
Blocking Broadband Reclassification
6/15. Four Democratic Senators sent a
letter to the Chairman and ranking Republican on the
Senate Appropriations Committee (SAC) urging
the SAC not to "use the appropriations process to block the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) from using its existing legal authority to preserve an open Internet
The four are Sen. John Kerry (D-MA),
Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA),
Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM), and
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR). All are members of
the Senate Commerce Committee (SCC),
except Sen. Wyden, who is a former member of the SCC.
Referring to the Notice of Inquiry (NOI) regarding reclassification of broadband
internet access services as Title II services, scheduled to be adopted at the FCC's
meeting on June 17, the four wrote that "Seeking comment on all available approaches
is a reasonable and responsible way to move forward and we should give it increased clarity
and definition through the legislative process."
They concluded that "a fight over an appropriations rider would only serve as
a distraction from substantive exploration of the issue".
notice and story titled "FCC Scheduled to Adopt Broadband Reclassification NOI"
in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,089, May 28, 2010.
The Public Knowledge (PK), a group that
supports FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski's efforts, issued a release regarding use of the
appropriations process "to short-circuit the FCC's Open Internet proceeding". The
PK also described the "overwhelming lobbying power" and "the political demands
of large telecommunications companies".
|Copps Addresses Broadband Reclassification
6/9. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner
Michael Copps gave a
speech [6 pages in PDF] at Stanford University law school titled "Openness
and Innovation in the Digital World".
He addressed two main topics. First, he spoke about protecting "the continued
openness and innovation of the Internet space from potential gatekeeper control by big
telephone and cable companies". This, he said, requires reclassification of broadband
internet access services, and regulation under Title II. Second, he argued
that regulating broadband access and journalism are part of the same issue, and referenced
the option of government "subsidies".
Reclassification. He said that "We must ... get back on course by treating
Internet access services ... as the telecommunications service they are, subject to the most
basic of nondiscrimination and transparency safeguards" of Title II of the
Copps (at right) also reminded his audience that
has all along opposed classification of broadband internet access services as Title I
information services. "Over much of the past decade, the FCC took American consumers on a
costly and damaging ride, moving the broadband transmission component of Internet access
services provided by dominant telephone and cable companies outside of the statutory
Title II framework that applies to telecommunications carriers. This was a major
flip-flop from the historic -- and successful -- approach of requiring nondiscrimination
in our communications networks. Instead, to advance the interests of a powerful few over the
interests of consumers, innovators and entrepreneurs, the Commission moved away from any real
oversight by classifying Internet access service as an unregulated “information service,”
subject to only vague ancillary authority under Title I. I didn't buy it then".
"The big telephone and cable companies are doing everything they
can to prevent the reclassification of Internet access services. They have
redeployed their troops at the FCC, throughout Washington and in the blogosphere."
Journalism. He also said that the FCC "is looking so closely at the future
of journalism", which "has a broadband component as an important part of its
There is no existing regulatory regime in the U.S. that could be applied to journalism
by FCC classification or other action. Nor did Copps outline with specificity how
the FCC might alter the future of journalism. However, he referenced the policy
option of federal "subsidies".
He stated that "Allowing a powerful duopoly -- in many places a monopoly -- to
exercise unfettered control over high-speed Internet access does more than just create
technology and economic risks; it poses a real threat to the future of our democracy".
"Sustaining democracy by effectively informing all of our citizens in the Digital Age
goes to the core of what we are trying to achieve in the National Broadband Plan",
"New media has not found the model to replicate online what has been lost offline.
Maybe it will, maybe it won't. But there is a cautionary lesson to be learned from what has
happened to our traditional media." He elaborated that "In less than a generation,
a media landscape that had openness, competition and public interest value -- real journalism,
for example -- as its hallmark has been transformed into a market controlled by a handful of
players, too often providing little more than infotainment and program homogenization. Newsrooms
have been shuttered, reporters taken off the beat and fired, and investigative journalism put
on the endangered species list."
Finally, Copps alluded to subsidization. He stated that "Washington, Jefferson and
Madison understood that a democracy depended on an informed citizenry, and established
postal subsidies to ensure the widest possible production and dissemination of newspapers --
the broadband of their day. They did this, by the way, at huge expense to the federal
government. Technology changes, but our democratic challenge remains the same."
|FCC Releases Technical Paper on Broadcast
6/14. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a
[60 pages in PDF] titled "Spectrum Analysis: Options for Broadcast Spectrum".
This paper states that broadcast television bands are a potential source of
spectrum for mobile broadband services. It argues that a "voluntary approach to
broadcast spectrum reallocation may have more upside for all stakeholders --
broadcasters, mobile broadband providers and especially consumers -- than one
might initially expect."
CTIA praised the paper in
stated that "We have long advocated for efficient use of spectrum, most recently
highlighting for the Commission the vast swaths of broadcast spectrum that go
unused by broadcasters. For example, in the District of Columbia, only 102 out
of 294 MHz are used by full-power broadcasters which means 192 MHz lays fallow.
This can, and should, be addressed."
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) also praised
the paper, stating that it "makes a compelling factual case for all stakeholders to
embrace the voluntary auction of underused broadcast television spectrum to address our
nation’s looming mobile broadband crisis".
Dennis Wharton of the National Association of
Broadcasters (NAB) stated in a
that it "is reviewing the paper and looks forward to working constructively with
the FCC on fact-based findings, mindful of the importance and enduring values of
free and local television to the American people."
In addition, the FCC will host an event on June 25, 2010, at 3:00 PM titled
"Broadcast Engineering Forum". See,
6/15. The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC)
Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (PSHSB)
paper [37 pages in PDF] titled "The Public Safety Nationwide Interoperable
Broadband Network: A New Model for Capacity, Performance and Cost". The authors are
Jon Peha, Walter Johnston, Pat Amodio and Tom Peters.
6/15. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a
[32 pages in PDf] titled "FCC Report to Congress As Required by the ORBIT Act:
6/15. The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Federal-State Joint Board on Universal
Service released a
Public Notice (PN) that requests comments regarding eligibility, verification, and outreach
rules for the Lifeline and Link Up universal service subsidy programs. This PN is FCC
10J-2 in CC Docket No. 96-45 and WC Docket No. 03-109. The deadline to submit initial comments
is July 15, 2010. The deadline to submit reply comments is July 30, 2010.
6/10. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner
Mignon Clyburn gave a
titled "Key Initiatives for the Future of Community Broadcasters".
|This issue contains the following items:
• Sen. Kerry and Sen. Snowe Write FCC Regarding White Spaces
• Baker Addresses White Spaces
• Four Senators Oppose Appropriations Rider Blocking Broadband Reclassification
• Copps Addresses Broadband Reclassification and Journalism
• FCC Releases Technical Paper on Broadcast Spectrum
• More FCC News
New items are highlighted in
|Wednesday, June 16
The House will meet at 10:00 AM for legislative business. See, Rep. Hoyer's
schedule for the week of June 14.
The Senate will meet at 9:30 AM. It will
resume consideration of HR 4213
"American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010". This huge
bill contains a one year extension of the research and development tax credit.
10:00 AM. The House Homeland
Security Committee (HHSC) will hold a hearing titled "Cybersecurity: DHS' Role,
Federal Efforts and National Policy". The witnesses will be Greg Schaffer (DHS
Assistant Secretary for Cybersecurity and Communications), Richard Skinner (DHS Inspector
General), Gregory Wilshusen (GAO), and
Stewart Baker (Steptoe &
Johnson). The HHSC will webcast this event. Location: Room 311, Cannon Building.
10:00 AM. The House Ways and
Means Committee (HWMC) will hold a hearing titled "China's Trade and
Industrial Policies". The HWMC
notice states that the topics to be covered include "failure to enforce
intellectual property rights". Location: Room 1100, Longworth Building.
12:15 - 1:30 PM. The Federal Communications
Bar Association's (FCBA) Young Lawyers Committee will host a brown bag lunch titled
"The Role of In-House Counsel". The speakers will be Erin Boone (Clearwire), Keith
Murphy (Viacom), Sumeet Seam (Discovery Communications), Megan Stull (Google), and Nguyen
Vu (Bingham McCutchen). For more information, contact Mark Brennan at mark dot brennan at
hoganlovells dot com, Nguyen Vu at nguyen dot vu at bingham dot com, or Lauren Wideman at
lauren dot wideman at bingham dot com. Location: Bingham McCutchen, 2020 K St., NW.
1:00 - 2:00 PM. The American Bar Association
(ABA) will host a webcast and teleconferenced event titled "Seeking
Harmony in Music Distribution". See,
The price for access ranges from $9.95 to $110.
2:00 PM. The
House Foreign Affairs
Committee's (HFAC) Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere will hold a
hearing titled "Press Freedom in the Americas". See,
notice. Location: Room 2172, Rayburn Building.
6:00 - 8:15 PM. There will be a pair of panels discussions on the
proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which is currently being
negotiated by the U.S. and other nations. The first panel will include U.S. government
representatives: Ben Golant (Copyright Office),
Kira Alvarez (Office of the U.S. Trade Representative),
and Darren Pogoda (U.S. Patent and Trademark Office).
The second panel will include Jim Burger (Dow Lohnes), Steve Metalitz, Matthew Schruers
(Computer and Communications Industry Association), and James Love (Knowledge Ecology
International). For more information, contact Ben Golant at bgol at loc dot gov or Jennifer
Ullman at Jennifer dot ullman at verizon dot com. Prices vary. This event is not open to
the public. Location: Dow Lohnes, 1200 New Hampshire Ave., NW.
|Thursday, June 17
The House will meet at 10:00 AM for legislative
business. The schedule for the week includes possible consideration of HR 5175
"Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections Act" or
"DISCLOSE Act", a bill that would regulate political speech. See, Rep. Hoyer's
schedule for the week of June 14.
10:00 AM. The House
Commerce Committee's (HCC) Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet
will hold a hearing titled "Legislative Hearing On Public Safety Broadband Network
And H.R 4829". The witnesses will be James Barnett (Chief of the FCC's Public
Safety and Homeland Security Bureau), Charles Dowd (New York City Police Department,
Communications Division), Jonathan Moore (International Association of Fire Fighters),
Steve Zipperstein (Verizon Wireless), Joseph Hanley (Telephone and Data Systems, Inc.),
Brian Fontes (National Emergency Number Association), Dale Hatfield (University of Colorado
at Boulder), and Coleman Bazelon (Brattle Group). The HCC will webcast this
notice and HR 4829
"Next Generation 9-1-1 Preservation Act of 2010'". Location: Room 2322,
10:00 AM. The Senate Judiciary
Committee (SJC) will hold an executive business meeting. The agenda again includes
consideration of the nomination of John McConnell to be a Judge of the U.S. District Court
for the District of Rhode Island. The SJC rarely follows its published agendas. The SJC
will webcast this event. See,
Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.
10:00 AM - 12:00 NOON. The Department of
Energy (DOE) will hold a meeting to hear public comments about the communications
requirements of utilities, including, but not limited to the requirements of the Smart
Grid. See, notice in the
Federal Register, June 14, 2010, Vol. 75, No. 113, at Pages 33611-33612.
Location: DOE, Forrestal Building, Room 8e069, 1000 Independence Ave., SW.
10:30 AM. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will hold an event
titled "open meeting". The only item on the agenda is adoption of a Notice of
Inquiry (NOI) regarding reclassification of broadband internet access services as
Title II services. See,
and story titled "FCC Scheduled to Adopt Broadband Reclassification NOI" in TLJ
Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,089, May 28, 2010. Location: FCC, 445 12th St., SW.
2:00 PM. The
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee's (HOGRC) Subcommittee
on Information Policy, Census, and National Archives will hold a hearing
titled "Federal Electronic Records Management: A Status Report". See,
notice. The HOGRC will webcast this event. Location: Room 2154, Rayburn
EXTENDED TO JULY 19.
Deadline to submit comments to
the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau
(PSHSB) regarding interoperability, out-of-band emissions, and equipment certification for
700 MHz public safety broadband networks. See, May 18, 2010,
public notice, and June 14, 2010,
public notice extending the deadline.
|Friday, June 18
for the week of June 14 states that the House may meet at 9:00 AM.
12:30 - 1:30 PM. The American Bar
Association (ABA) will host a brown bag lunch titled "Introduction to U.S.
Privacy and Information Security Law". The speakers will be
Carla Hine (McDermott Will & Emery),
Megan Olsen (Kelley Drye
& Warren), Joel Samuels (Axinn
Veltrop & Harkrider), and Katie Brin (Federal Trade Commission). See,
This event is free. Location: undisclosed.
Deadline to submit written comments to the
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) regarding
"Enhancement in the Quality of Patents and on United States Patent and Trademark
Office Patent Quality Metrics". See,
notice in the
Federal Register, April 27, 2010, Vol. 75, No. 80, at Pages 22120-22121.
|Sunday, June 20
|Monday, June 21
9:30 - 11:00 AM. The Information Technology
and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) will host a panel discussion titled "Where
does the US Really Stand in Broadband and Why?". The speakers will be Robert
Atkinson (ITIF), Sacha Meinrath (New America
Foundation), George Ford (Phoenix Center) and Matthew Wood (Media Access Project). See,
Location: ITIF, Room 610, 1101 K St., NW.
12:15 - 1:30 PM. The Federal Communications
Bar Association (FCBA) will host a brown bag lunch titled "The Satellite
Television Extension and Localism Act of 2010". The speakers will be
Seth Davidson (Fleischman & Harding),
Mike Nilsson (Wiltshire & Grannis), and Linda Kinney (Echostar). Location:
Dow Lohnes, 1200 New Hampshire Ave., NW.
Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) in response to its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding
robocalls, and revisions to FCC rules under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act
(TCPA) that would harmonize those rules with the Federal
Trade Commission's (FTC) recently amended Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR). This FCC
adopted this NPRM on January 20, 2010, and released the
[37 pages in PDF] on January 22, 2010. It is FCC 10-18 in CG Docket No. 02-278. See,
notice in the Federal
Register, March 22, 2010, Vol. 75, No. 54, at Pages 13471-13482. See also, story titled
"FCC Adopts NPRM Regarding Limiting Some Robocalls" in
TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No.
2,037, January 20, 2010.
Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its
Proposed Rulemaking [45 pages in PDF] regarding universal service low income
subsidy programs in Puerto Rico. The FCC adopted and released this item on April 16, 2010.
It is FCC 10-57 in WC Docket No. 05-337, CC Docket No. 96-45, and WC Docket No. 03-109.
See, notice in the
Federal Register, May 7, 2010, Vol. 75, No. 88, at Pages 25156-25159.
Deadline to submit comments to the
National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)
regarding Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC). See,
notice in the
Federal Register, June 9, 2010, Vol. 75, No. 110, at Page 32748.
|Tuesday, June 22
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM. The
Department of Health and Human Services' (DHHS) Office of the National Coordinator
for Health Information Technology's Privacy & Security Tiger Team will meet by
teleconference. See, notice
in the Federal Register, June 16, 2010, Vol. 75, No. 115, at Page 34141.
2:30 PM. The
Senate Commerce Committee's (SCC) Subcommittee on Competitiveness,
Innovation and Export Promotion will hold a hearing titled "Innovation in
America: Opportunities and Obstacles". See,
notice. Location: Room 253, Russell Building.
|Wednesday, June 23
10:00 AM. The
Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) will hold a hearing titled "Oversight
of the Office of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator". The
SJC will webcast this event. See,
Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.
12:00 NOON - 1:30 PM. The American Bar
Association's (ABA) Section of Antitrust Law will host an on site and teleconferenced
panel discussion titled "Apple, Google and More: Recent Issues in Identifying and
Addressing Problems Involving Interlocking Directorates". The speakers will be
Yvonne Quinn (Sullivan & Cromwell),
Andrew Finch (Paul
Weiss), Pat Robinson (Federal Reserve Board), and Darren Tucker (Attorney Advisor to FTC
Commissioner Thomas Rosch). See,
notice. Location: Wilson
Sonsini, 5th floor, 1700 K St., NW.
1:00 - 2:30 PM. The American Bar
Association's (ABA) Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries will host a
seminar titled "Network to Blog -- Old vs. New Media: What You Need to Know in
Sports Deals". The speakers will be
Douglas Hand (Hand Baldachin
& Amburgey) and
Maidie Oliveau (Arent Fox). See,
notice. Prices vary. This
event qualifies for continuing legal education (CLE) credits. The ABA will teleconference
and webcast this event.
|About Tech Law
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