TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: The Front Lines - January 31, 2006

The Front Lines - January 31, 2006

Jonathan Marashlian (
Tue, 07 Fed 2006 14:42:58 -0500 The FRONT LINES

Sponsored by The Helein Law Group, P.C.

Advancing The Cause of Competition in the Telecommunications Industry


In the wake of highly-publicized investigations and lawsuits
concerning the apparent misappropriation of telephone consumer's
private information for use by black market data brokers (on the
Internet), the FCC's Enforcement Bureau on Monday proposed fining AT&T
and Alltel $100,000 each and, today, released a Public Notice which
commands ALL telecommunications carriers providing interstate services
to file CPNI compliance certifications with the Bureau.

Section 222 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the "Act"),
requires that telecommunications carriers protect the privacy of
customer proprietary network information ("CPNI"). The Commission has
initiated several inquiries into the procedures used by
telecommunications carriers to ensure confidentiality of CPNI based on
concerns regarding the apparent sale of telephone call records over
the Internet. In furtherance of its investigations into this matter,
the Commission directed several telecommunications carriers to submit
compliance certificates they are obligated to prepare and maintain in
accordance with section 64.2009(e) of the Commission's rules. After
reviewing the submissions filed by these carriers, the Bureau proposed
fining the "old" AT&T and rural ILEC, Alltel, $100,000 each. The
Bureau found that AT&T and Alltel apparently violated section
64.2009(e) of the Commission's rules by failing to have a corporate
officer with personal knowledge execute an annual certificate stating
that the company has established operating procedures adequate to
ensure compliance with the Commission's rules.

In the Public Notice released today, based on the information received
during its limited investigation the Bureau concluded that further
investigation and review of ALL telecommunications carriers' most
recent annual CPNI certifications is required.

In the Public Notice, the Bureau directs all telecommunications
carriers, including wireline and wireless carriers, to submit a
compliance certificate to the Commission as required by section
64.2009(e) of the Commission's rules. Carrier certificates for the
most recent period, along with the accompanying statement explaining
how their respective operating procedures ensure compliance with the
rules, must be filed no later than Monday, February 6, 2006 in
accordance with the procedures outlined by the Bureau.

Due to the short timeframe for making the required certification
filing, we highly recommend contacting your regulatory counsel
immediately to seek advice regarding your company's obligations. If
you do not have existing counsel, please contact our firm at:
703-714-1300 or by e-mail:


In a Report and Order ("R&O") released last Thursday, the FCC adopted
several modifications to its wireless spectrum competitive bidding
rules. Some of the changes the FCC adopted were required by the
Commercial Spectrum Enhancement Act ("CSEA"); others are intended to
enhance the effectiveness of the FCC's auctions program.

In order to comply with CSEA, the FCC:

* Modified its reserve price rule, section 1.2104(c), to provide that,
for any auction of "eligible frequencies" requiring the recovery of
estimated relocation costs pursuant to CSEA, the Commission will
establish a reserve price(s) pursuant to which the total cash proceeds
shall equal at least 110 percent of the total estimated relocation
costs provided to the Commission pursuant to CSEA; and

* Modified its tribal land bidding credit rule, section 1.2110(f)(3),
to enable the Commission in auctions subject to CSEA to award all
eligible applicants tribal land bidding credits on a pro rata basis in
the event that the net winning bids at the close of bidding (exclusive
of tribal land bidding credits) are not sufficient both (a) to meet
the reserve price(s) and (b) to award all eligible applicants full
tribal land bidding credits.

To enhance the effectiveness of our auctions program, the FCC:

* Modified its tribal land bidding credit rule, section 1.2110(f)(3),
to enable the Commission in auctions with specified reserve price(s)
not mandated by CSEA to award all eligible applicants tribal land
bidding credits on a pro rata basis in the event that the net winning
bids at the close of bidding (exclusive of tribal land bidding
credits) are not sufficient both (a) to meet the reserve price(s) and
(b) to award all eligible applicants full tribal land bidding credits;

* Clarified its default rule, section 1.2104(g)(2), to facilitate
early determination of a final default payment and clarify the
appropriate calculation in certain circumstances;

* Enhanced rules for interim withdrawal and the additional payment
portion of default payments, section 1.2104(g)(1)-(2), by enabling the
Commission in advance of each auction to set each type of payment at
between 3 percent to 20 percent of the relevant withdrawn or defaulted

* Facilitated combinatorial (or "package") bidding by enabling the
Commission to establish in advance of each such auction a mechanism to
attribute an individual bid amount to individual licenses won as part
of a package when an individual bid amount is needed for a regulatory
calculation, such as calculating the amount of a small business
bidding credit;

* Modified section 1.2104 of its rules to allow the Commission to
apportion a bid amount on an individual license whenever a bid amount
on a portion of a license is needed to compare with bids on portions
of corresponding reconfigured licenses, such as when a withdrawn bid
on a license in an auction must be compared to bids on corresponding
reconfigured licenses in a later auction;

* Standardized auction payment rules by conforming rules applicable to
broadcast construction permits won at auction, sections 73.3571,
73.3573, 73.5003, 73.5006, and 74.1233, to the final payment
procedures in section 1.2109(a); and

* Enhanced the availability of the consortium exception to the
designated entity and entrepreneur aggregation rule, section
1.2110(b)(3)(i), by providing further clarity as to its
implementation. In particular, the new rules provide that (a) each
member or group of members of a winning consortium seeking separate
licenses shall file a separate long-form application for its
respective license(s) and, in the case of a license to be partitioned
or disaggregated, the member or group filing the applicable long-form
application shall provide the parties' partitioning or disaggregation
agreement in its long-form application; (b) two or more consortium
members seeking to be licensed together shall first form a legal
business entity; and (c) any such entity must meet the applicable
eligibility requirements in our rules for small business or
entrepreneur status.

The Front Lines is a free publication of The Helein Law Group, P.C.,
providing clients and interested parties with valuable information,
news, and updates regarding regulatory and legal developments
primarily impacting companies engaged in the competitive
telecommunications industry.

The Front Lines does not purport to offer legal advice nor does it
establish a lawyer-client relationship with the reader. If you have
questions about a particular article, general concerns, or wish to
seek legal counsel regarding a specific regulatory or legal matter
affecting your company, please contact our firm at 703-714-1313 or
visit our website:

The Helein Law Group, P.C.
8180 Greensboro Drive, Suite 700
McLean, Virginia 22102

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