FCC Issues NOI Regarding Cyber–Security Compliance Program


On April 21, 2010, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) issued a Notice of Inquiry (“NOI”) representing the fifth in a series of promised rulemaking proceedings designed to implement its National Broadband Plan.  In its NOI, the FCC seeks comment on whether the Commission should establish a voluntary program under which participating communications service providers would be certified by the FCC or a yet to be determined third-party entity for their adherence to a set of cyber-security objectives and/or practices.  The Commission also seeks comment on the components of such a program, if any, and whether such a program would create business incentives for providers of communications services to sustain a high level of cybersecurity culture and practice.

The FCC argues that despite the increasing threat of cyber attacks, much of the general public does not yet consider cyber-security issues a threat.  The FCC asserts that this lack of awareness is part of the problem and that 87-percent of cyber breaches could have been avoided if reasonable security controls had been in place.


In its National Broadband Plan, the FCC stressed that it believes enhancing the cyber security of the nation‘s infrastructure is critical to the proper functioning of the nation‘s communications networks.  According the to the Commission, this NOI represents the first step in its increased involvement with broadband service to help counter cyber attacks and assist in protecting communications infrastructure.

Clients should monitor these proceedings and are advised to review the NOI as well as additional related documents linked below. Clients interested in filing comments or with questions about the NOI or this Advisory should contact Jonathan S. Marashlian at jsm@commlawgroup.com or (703) 714-1313.

News Release: Word | Acrobat
NOI: Word | Acrobat
Genachowski Statement: Word | Acrobat
Copps Statement: Word | Acrobat
McDowell Statement: Word | Acrobat
Clyburn Statement: Word | Acrobat
Baker Statement: Word | Acrobat

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