Homeland Security and Wireless Telecommunications: The Continuing Evolution of Regulation

By Guttman-McCabe, Christopher; Mushahwar, Amy et al. | Federal Communications Law Journal, May 2005 | Go to article overview

Homeland Security and Wireless Telecommunications: The Continuing Evolution of Regulation


Guttman-McCabe, Christopher, Mushahwar, Amy, Murck, Patrick, Federal Communications Law Journal


I. INTRODUCTION

II. PUBLIC INTEREST REGULATION IN THE NAME OF SAFETY

     A. Introduction
     B. CALEA
        1. CALEA Statutory Framework
        2. Implementation on the Wireless Platform--Partnering
           Toward a Mandate
           a. CALEA, an Industry Standard Initiative?
           b. Law Enforcement Seeks to Revise the Industry
              Standard
           c. The "Partnership" Moves to the Courtroom
        3. Packet-Based Implementation, Location Information,
           and Cost Concerns Add to the Uncertainty
           a. Compliance Issues
           b.  Deadline Extensions
           c.  Enforcement Regime
           d.  Cost Recovery
     C. The E-911: To Partner or to Regulate?
        1. Introduction
        2. Delivering E-911 Service in a Wireless Environment
           a. Background
           b. Location Identification Alternatives
        3. Regulating a Consensus
           a. The Role of the Consensus Agreement in Shaping
              E-911 Regulation
           b. The Cost-Recovery Problem

III. THE EVOLUTION FROM PUBLIC SAFETY REGULATION TO
     HOMELAND SECURITY REGULATION

     A. Introduction
     B. NRIC: The Foundation for Public-Private Partnerships
        1. NRIC's Historical Role in the Regulatory Process
           a. Preparing for Year 2000
           b. Securing the Reliability of Telecommunications
              Networks
        2. NRIC's Newest Focus--Wireless
     C. Critical Infrastructure Information Act Building the
        Foundation for Partnership
        1. Creation of the Act
        2. Facilitating Information Sharing
     D. Reporting Wireless Network Outages
     E. Wireless Priority Service: The Prototype of the
        Partnership Model
        1. The Call for Wireless Priority Service
        2. Partnering for Success--Waivers, Liability Protection,
           and Funding
        3. Deployment
        4. Exporting the Partnership Model
     F. The Legacy of the Second Phase of Homeland Security
        Regulations

IV. PHASE III: IN THE NAME OF HOMELAND SECURITY--TO
    PARTNER OR NOT?

V. CONCLUSION

I. INTRODUCTION

Since the grant of the first Commercial Mobile Radio Service CCMRS") license over twenty years ago, the wireless industry has grown from a service of convenience to one that is indispensable. What once was a device used for sporadic phone calls now is viewed by many Americans as a source of invaluable communication and security. Across the country, people use their wireless phones to make many, if not most, of their phone calls; some even have replaced their traditional land-line phones with wireless. Other people send emails or text messages, schedule appointments, browse the Internet, take pictures, listen to music, and even shop with their wireless phones. During the last twelve years, the number of wireless subscribers in the United States has grown from approximately 15 million to over 180 million, (1) while the annual minutes of use during the same time period have skyrocketed from below 20 billion to more than 1 trillion. (2) This rapid expansion has not been lost on government officials.

As the wireless industry has matured, government officials have turned to the mobile phone as a way to make the United States safer. E-911, (3) the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act ("CALEA"), (4) Wireless Priority Service ("WPS") (5) and Outage Reporting (6) all were initiated on the wireless platform in the name of safety. The Federal Communication Commission's ("FCC") implementation proceedings for these initiatives have differed markedly. Arguably, the differing FCC approaches significantly contributed to each initiative's outcome. Where the FCC fully partnered with industry, as in WPS, the service was operational in less than one year after being requested by government officials. Where government moved toward a more command and control approach, with multiple revisions to the rules, such as in E-911 and CALEA, the services still are not fully implemented. …

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