Selected portions of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, a newsletter from the Law Offices of Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens, Duffy & Prendergast, LLP are reproduced in this section with the firm's permission.
FCC To Consider New Rules, Spectrum Allocation For Medical Body Area Networks
At tomorrow’s open meeting, the FCC will consider a Report and Order (R&O) and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) regarding Medical Body Area Networks or MBANs
(see box on Page 1). FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski unveiled the proposal last week during a speech at the George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C. The MBAN technology would operate in the 2360-2400 MHz band, which currently is used almost exclusively by commercial test pilots.
MBAN technology consists of small, low-powered sensors on the body that capture clinical information, such as temperature and respiratory function. These sensors could free patients from many of the wires that would otherwise anchor them to their hospital bed. As patients recover, the technology allows them to move about the health care facility, while still being monitored for any health issues that might develop. Eventually, even monitoring of a patient at home will be possible using the new technology. MBANs consist of two paired devices—one that is worn on the body (sensor) and another that is located either on the body or in close proximity to it (hub).
With MBAN technology, the FCC said, physicians can intervene before a patient’s condition seriously deteriorates—resulting in less time spent in the intensive care unit, and can reduce costly follow up visits. The FCC said that one health care company estimates it could save $1.5 million per month if unplanned (emergency) transfers could be prevented by early detection and treatment. Disposable wireless sensors can also help decrease hospital-acquired infections, according to the Commission. It added that the industry estimates that disposable sensors could help to save an estimated $2,000 to $12,000 per patient — more than $11 billion nationwide. Remote monitoring of patients with congestive heart failure alone would create an annual savings of over $10 billion a year. “The real game changer for MBAN technology can be health monitoring in the home,” Genachowski said.
Health-care is part of the FCC’s National Broadband Plan. The Commission also entered into a partnership with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help ensure that communications-related medical innovations can swiftly and safely be brought to market.
The proposed R&O would establish service rules and a spectrum allocation for MBAN technology, while the FNPRM would seek comment on the selection of an MBAN coordinator and other details for the program.
AUGUST 1: FCC FORM 502, NUMBER UTILIZATION AND FORECAST REPORT: Any wireless or wireline carrier (including paging companies) that have received number blocks—including 100, 1,000, or 10,000 number blocks—from the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA), a Pooling Administrator, or from another carrier, must file Form 502 by August 1. Carriers porting numbers for the purpose of transferring an established customer’s service to another service provider must also report, but the carrier receiving numbers through porting does not. Resold services should also be treated like ported numbers, meaning the carrier transferring the resold service to another carrier is required to report those numbers but the carrier receiving such numbers should not report them. New this year is that reporting carriers are required to include their FCC Registration Number (FRN). Reporting carriers file utilization and forecast reports semiannually on or before February 1 for the preceding six-month reporting period ending December 31, and on or before August 1 for the preceding six-month reporting period ending June 30.
TURETSKY NAMED NEW PUBLIC SAFETY AND HOMELAND SECURITY BUREAU CHIEF: FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski named David S. Turetsky as Chief of the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (PSHSB). Mr. Turetsky is a senior communications lawyer with decades of leadership experience in the public and private sectors. He will begin after Memorial Day. David Furth, currently serving as Acting Chief, will resume his role as Deputy Bureau Chief. Turetsky succeeds Jamie Barrett. Rear Admiral (Retired). Turetsky has served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust in the U.S. Department of Justice; a senior lawyer and officer for Teligent, a fixed-wireless telecommunications and broadband services company. He was twice appointed by federal courts and the FCC as the Management Trustee of rural U.S. mobile wireless businesses required to be divested as a condition of a merger approval. In this role, Mr. Turetsky oversaw all aspects of the businesses, including management, day-to-day operations, strategic planning, and emergency response. During his time in the Clinton Administration Antitrust Division, Mr. Turetsky was deeply involved in the shaping of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. He has also been a member of the State Department Advisory Committee on International Communications and Information Policy, and serves as co-chair of the State Enforcement Committee of the American Bar Association Antitrust Section.
VITAL MEETINGS & DEADLINES
May 24 – FCC open meeting.
May 25 – Deadline for reply comments on FNPRM regarding foreign ownership of common carrier radio station licenses (IB Docket No. 11-133).
May 29 – Deadline for comments on short-form Tariff Review Plans (TRPs) regarding annual access tariffs (WCB/Pricing File No. 12-07).
May 29 – Deadline for reply comments on Level 3 request for limited waiver of call signaling rules (CC Docket Nos. 01-92, 96-45; GN Docket No. 09-51; WC Docket Nos. 03-109, 05-337, 07-135, 10-90; and WT Docket No. 10-208).
May 29 – Deadline for Petitions to Deny several proposed Lower 700 MHz transactions: (1) AT&T and Peoples Telephone Cooperative (ULS File No. 0005150801); (2) AT&T and Cox (ULS File No. 0005155794); (3) USSC and Cox (ULS File No. 0005167598).
May 29 – Deadline for Petitions to Deny T-Mobile, Cricket, Cook Inlet, Savary Island proposed spectrum swap of PCS and AWS-1 licenses (ULS File Nos. 0005140122, 0005140200, 0005140699, 0005143798, 0005143799, 0005143801, 0005144560, and 0005150677.)
May 30 – Deadline for reply comments on wireless service interruptions (GN Docket No. 12-52).
May 30 – Effective date of IP closed captioning rules (except for provisions subject to OMB approval) (MB Docket No. 11-154.)
May 31 – FCC Form 395, Employment Report, is due.
May 31 – Deadline for comments on NPRM proposing 2012 regulatory fees (MD Docket No. 12-116).
June 1 – Effective date of Lifeline Reform Order Section 54.409 (consumer qualification for Lifeline) (WC Docket Nos. 11-42, 03-109, 12-23, and CC Docket No. 96-45).
June 1 – Deadline for comments on NPRM promoting interoperability in Lower 700 MHz band (WT Docket No. 12-69).
June 1 – Deadline for comments on AT&T’s request to make 800 MHz cellular base station rules consistent with other mo-bile broadband services (RM-11660).
June 4 – Deadline for oppositions to petitions to deny transfer of licenses from E.N.M.R.- Plateau to Verizon Wireless (ULS File Nos. 0005034870, 0005034877, 0005063051 and/or ITC-ASG-20120420-00105).
June 5 – Deadline for reply comments on short-form Tariff Review Plans (TRPs) regarding annual access tariffs (WCB/Pricing File No. 12-07).
June 7 – Deadline for reply comments on NPRM proposing 2012 regulatory fees (MD Docket No. 12-116).
June 7 – Deadline for comments on Satellite Broadcasting & Communications Association’s request to amend exclusive use provision of OTARD rule (MB Docket No. 12-21).
June 8 – Deadline for Oppositions to Petitions to Deny several proposed Lower 700 MHz transactions: (1) AT&T and Peoples Telephone Cooperative (ULS File No. 0005150801); (2) AT&T and Cox (ULS File No. 0005155794); (3) USSC and Cox (ULS File No. 0005167598).