Foreign-Owned All West Needs To Name A LEPOC – A What?

Jan 11, 2024

By Ted Hearn, Editor of Policyband

Washington, D.C., Jan. 11, 2024 – All West Communications was just acquired by a Canadian private equity firm. Now that the deal has been approved and recently closed, All West needs to name a LEPOC under orders from the Department of Justice.

LEPOC – a what?

LEPOC is the acronym for Law Enforcement Point of Contact. It is a real job with real responsibilities inside All West. If the LEPOC were somehow to disregard DOJ’s detailed instructions, the agency could attempt to unwind the sale to Quebec-based Novacap Management Inc.

Last November, DOJ required both companies to sign a Letter of Agreement (LOA), which runs for 19 pages and includes a lengthy summation of the national security requirements that are imposed on a foreign-owned communications entity like All West.

The Federal Communications Commission approved the transaction in December in an order the required the companies to remain in compliance with the LOA. The FCC also needed to waive a provision in federal law that caps foreign ownership in a company like All West at 25%.

Based in Kamas, Utah, All West is a small communications and broadband provider that got its start to 1912. Under current President Matthew Weller, the company is in the process of deploying fiber broadband networks in parts of its service area. Novacap, headquartered in Brossard adjacent to Montreal, has about $6 billion in assets under management and is finalizing the sale of portfolio company Horizon Telcom in Ohio to Shentel in Virginia

The LOA's national security requirements on All West are extensive and designed to ensure DOJ has access to all business records. DOJ also needs to approve the principal communications equipment used by the company and subsequent tech gear substitutions.

All West’s LEPOC needs to be approved by DOJ and the FBI, and the government is requiring access to the LEPOC’s Personally Identifiable Information (PII).  

All West’s LEPOC is required to have access to all of All West's U.S. records and will have five days to turn over the records to DOJ upon request. All West has seven days to notify DOJ and the FBI in case of the LEPOC's “unexpected firing, resignation, incapacitation, or death.” DOJ and the FBI will need to approve a replacement LEPOC candidate.

All West also needs to establish a security officer “who is a non-dual U.S. citizen residing in the United States” and this person must be “eligible to obtain and maintain a ‘Secret’ level or higher U.S. Government security clearance immediately upon appointment,” the LOA says.

Among other things, DOJ is demanding that the security officer have access to All West’s business information and have the appropriate “authority and skills to implement the terms of [the] LOA and to address security concerns identified by DOJ," the LOA says.

DOJ is also insisting that the security officer be available at all times.

“The security officer,” DOJ said, “will be available 24 hours per day, seven days per week, to respond to and address any national security or law enforcement concerns that DOJ may raise with respect to All West or its operations …”