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BART Pet for Decl Ruling FINAL

BART Pet for Decl Ruling FINAL

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Published by: MAG-Net on Sep 05, 2011
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09/07/2012

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Before theFEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSIONWashington, D.C. 20554
 In the Matter of the Petition of )Public Knowledge et al. ) RM- ____________ )for Declaratory Ruling that Disconnection of )Telecommunications Services Violates the )Communications Act )
EMERGENCY PETITION FOR DECLARATORY RULINGof Public Knowledge, Broadband Institute of California, Center for Democracy andTechnology, Center for Media Justice, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Media AccessProject, Minority Media and Telecommunications Council, National Hispanic MediaCoalition, and New America Foundation’s Open Technology Initiative
Harold Feld, Legal Director Sherwin Siy, Deputy Legal Director Public Knowledge1818 N St. NW, Suite 410Washington, DC 20036202-861-0020August 29, 2011
 
TABLE OF CONTENTSSUMMARY...................................................................................................................................2
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ARGUMENT.................................................................................................................................4
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CONCLUSION...........................................................................................................................18
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1
Pursuant to Section 1.2 of the Commission’s rules,
1
Public Knowledge, et al., seek thefollowing declaratory ruling from the Commission. First, that the actions taken by the Bay AreaRapid Transit District (“BART”) on August 11, 2011 violated the Communications Act of 1934,as amended, when it deliberately interfered with access to Commercial Mobile Radio Service(“CMRS”) by the public. More importantly, Petitioners request that the Commission declare,consistent with long-standing precedent with regard to wireline Title II services, that local lawenforcement has no authority to suspend or deny CMRS, or to order CMRS providers to suspendor deny service, absent a properly obtained order from the Commission, a state commission of appropriate jurisdiction, or a court of law with appropriate jurisdiction.As the Commission itself has recognized in its inquiry on Next Generation 911,
2
and asemphasized in remarks from Chairman Genachowski,
3
members of the public increasingly relyon CMRS for emergency communication. As noted by Chairman Genachowski, over 450,000calls are made a day via mobile phone.
4
Unilateral action by law enforcement, however well-intentioned, risks depriving the public of vital emergency communications at the worst possiblemoment. Because any impairment of CMRS impacts both critical issues of public safety andimportant principles of free expression, the Commission must act swiftly to clarify that localauthorities may not turn off wireless networks before other local jurisdictions seek to replicatethe actions of BART.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
1
47 C.F.R. §1.2.
2
Framework for Next Generation 911 Deployment, PS Docket No. 10-255 (rel. Dec. 21, 2010).
3
Remarks of Chairman Julius Genachowski, “Next-Generation 9-1-1,” Arlington CountyEmergency Center (November 23, 2010),http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2010/db1123/DOC-302989A1.pdf 
4
 
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