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Telecom Alert - FCC Action Regarding COVID-19; Michigan Pole Attachment Law; T-Band Auction Repeal Bill; Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act; BRETSA Petition for Reconsideration Pleading Cycle; RDOF Webinar - Vol. XVI, Issue 11

Date: Mar 16, 2020

FCC Actions Regarding COVID-19

The FCC has published the steps it is taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (also known as the Coronavirus).  The FCC’s buildings are closed to the public for the foreseeable future, which means no in-person filings may be delivered.  All FCC employees are instructed to work remotely, unless it is absolutely necessary for them to work from the office, until further notice.  The Commission plans to continue the regular and ongoing work of the FCC throughout this time. 

Michigan Pole Attachment Law

Last week, Michigan passed a law generally applying FCC pole attachment regulations to attachments by cable, telecom and broadband providers to poles owned by electric utility cooperatives in the state.  State courts are given the task of enforcing the regulations.  For more information, please contact Tom Magee (magee@khlaw.com; 202.434.4128) or Tim Doughty (doughty@khlaw.com; 202.434.4271).

T-Band Auction Repeal Bill Advances Through House

The House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology advanced the Don’t Break Up the T-Band Act last week, which would repeal the T-Band auction mandate in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012.  The Act was introduced in the House earlier this year and, if passed, would revoke the requirement that the FCC reallocate and auction public safety spectrum in the T-Band.  FCC Chairman Ajit Pai issued a statement in December asking Congress to repeal the mandate because the costs of relocating public safety licensees would exceed potential revenue (Vol. XVI, Issue 49).  For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178). 

Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act

The “Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act” was signed into law last week.  The law strengthens the FCC’s efforts to limit the sale of network equipment and services by companies that pose a threat to national security (“Covered Companies”).  The law requires the Commission to publish and maintain a list of Covered Companies and prohibits the use of Federal subsidies to purchase equipment or services sold by these suppliers.   In addition, the law requires the FCC to establish the “Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Reimbursement Program” to reimburse communications companies with 2 million or fewer subscribers for the costs associated with removing and replacing installed network gear provided by Covered Companies. For more information, please contact Doug Jarrett (jarrett@khlaw.com; 202.434.4180). 

Pleading Cycle for BRETSA Petition for Reconsideration

The FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau issued a Public Notice last week announcing the filing deadlines for oppositions and replies to oppositions to the Boulder Regional Emergency Telephone Service Authority’s (BRETSA) Petition for Reconsideration in the E911 location accuracy proceeding (Vol. XVII, Issue 6).  The Commission established a vertical location accuracy metric of plus or minus three meters for E911 calls, as well as testing benchmarks for carriers.  BRETSA filed its petition arguing that the FCC should have adopted proof-of-performance testing for carriers and should reconsider its proposed requirement that carriers cooperate with accuracy testing and correlation of elevation data to building floor levels.  Oppositions to the Petition are due by March 25, 2020 and replies to oppositions are due by April 6, 2020.  For more information, please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239).

Vantage Point, Keller and Heckman RDOF Webinar

Please join Keller and Heckman’s Doug Jarrett and Vantage Point Solution’s Doug Eidahl, along with others from Vantage Point, for a webinar titled RDOF Consortiums: Overview and Strategy on Tuesday, March 17 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. EST.  They will provide a summary of the RDOF Phase I auction and discuss why the auction might be the bet funding opportunity for the foreseeable future and the benefits of bidding consortiums.  Please click here to register.

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 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 © 2020.  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.