Telecom Alert – FCC Reauthorization Bill; LMCC Letter Regarding Non-FCC Compliant Devices; Reply Comments Filed on Overlashing Pole Attachments; 700 MHz Report and Order; Havens Petitions Denied - Vol. XV, Issue 8

Date: Feb 20, 2018

FCC Reauthorization Bill

Last week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee cleared H.R. 4986 in a Committee Markup.  The Committee renamed the bill the Repack Airwaves Yielding Better Access for Users of Modern Services (“RAY BAUMS”) Act of 2018 in honor of Ray Baum, the House Energy and Commerce Committee Staff Director who passed away on February 9, 2018.  This bill brings together language from a number of other FCC-related bills exclusive of the MOBILE NOW Act (Vol. XIV, Issue 32).  The bill includes multiple FCC process reforms and authorizes additional funds for the TV incentive auction repacking.  If enacted, this would be the first FCC reauthorization in over 25 years.  For more information, please contact Kathleen Slattery (slattery@khlaw.com; 202.434.4244).

LMCC Letter Regarding Non-FCC Compliant Devices

The Land Mobile Communications Council (“LMCC”) sent a letter to Rosemary Harold, Chief of the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau, requesting a meeting to address use of non-rule compliant wireless devices.  These devices include programming instructions for operation on any channel from 136-174 MHz and 400-520 MHz.  LMCC states these devices present “serious risk of harmful interference to Federal systems and FCC-compliant systems operated by Public Safety and Business/Industrial licensees.”  The letter emphasized that LMCC wishes to work collaboratively with the Enforcement Bureau to develop a solution.  For information, please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239).

Reply Comments Filed on Overlashing Pole Attachments

In response to misleading Comments filed by communications company attachers last month, the “Utility Coalition on Overlashing” composed of K&H clients Arizona Public Service, Consumers Energy, Exelon, FirstEnergy, Hawaiian Electric Companies, Puget Sound Energy and The AES Corporation, explained the pole loading and mid-span sag issues pertaining to overlashing, which can create significant safety and reliability issues.  For a copy of the Coalition’s Reply Comments or for additional information, please contact Tom Magee (magee@khlaw.com; 202-434-4128) or Tim Doughty (doughty@khlaw.com; 202-434-4271).

700 MHz Report and Order

Last week, the Commission released a Second Report and Order and Order on Reconsideration regarding the interoperability and technical rules for the Public Safety 700 MHz narrowband channels.  The Report and Order exempts 700 MHz low-power Vehicular Repeater Systems (VRS) from trunking requirements, provides rules for testing and documentation of P25 equipment interoperability, and reinforces the principle that all narrowband mobile and portable 700 MHz public safety radios be capable of operating on all narrowband nationwide interoperability channels.  The Order on Reconsideration provides a uniform effective date for some previously adopted rules and the rules adopted in the Second Report and Order.  For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).

Havens Petitions Denied

Last week, the Commission issued an Order denying petitions filed by Warren Havens, which requested the denial of several assignment applications pertaining to the assignment of AMTS licenses from Choctaw Holdings, LLC to several critical infrastructure companies (Vol. XIV, Issue 40).  In the Order, the Commission explains that Havens lacks standing to challenge the assignment applications.  For more information, please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239) or Al Catalano (catalano@khlaw.com; 202.434.4207).

Send Us Your Feedback

We welcome your feedback on topics of interest that you would like to see covered in our Telecom Business Alert. To make suggestions, please e-mail telecomalert@khlaw.com.

Keller and Heckman LLP's Telecom Business Alert is a complimentary weekly electronic update created by the Telecommunications Practice Group of Keller and Heckman LLP.  All articles, videos, and quotations are on topics of general interest and do not constitute legal advice for particularized facts.  Keller and Heckman LLP's Telecom Business Alert © 2017.  All rights reserved.  Articles may be copied with attribution.  To sign up for our weekly alert, please send us an email at telecomalert@khlaw.com and provide us with your name and email.  Please follow us on twitter at @KHtelecom.