Telecom Business Alert -- Vol VI Issue 48

Date: Dec 07, 2009

Auction No. 87: Lower and Upper Paging Bands

FCC Auction No. 87 (Lower and Upper Paging Bands) is scheduled to begin on May 25, 2010. The auction includes 9,603 paging licenses consisting of 7,752 licenses in the lower paging bands (35-36 MHz, 43-44 MHz, 152-159 MHz, 454-460 MHz) and 1,851 licenses in the upper paging bands (929-931 MHz). The auction will include licenses that remained unsold from a previous auction, licenses on which a winning bidder in a previous auction defaulted, and licenses for spectrum previously associated with licenses that cancelled or terminated. As announced in a Public Notice released on November 30, the FCC seeks comment on competitive bidding procedures for the auction. Comments are due by December 21, 2009, and Reply Comments by January , 2010.

FCC Seeks Comments Relating to National Broadband Plan

Last week, the FCC released a Public Notice as part of its National Broadband Plan (NBP) proceeding noting concerns that there will not be sufficient spectrum to meet future demand for wireless broadband services. In response, the FCC indicated that it is examining various bands to determine whether additional spectrum may be reallocated for wireless broadband use. The Public Notice seeks data and information on the use of spectrum currently licensed to broadcast television stations, and what processes could ensure continuing spectral efficiency gains for broadcasters. Comments are due by December 21, 2009. In another Public Notice released last week, the FCC seeks comment on how it can encourage innovation in the market for video devices to assist development of the NBP. Comments on that Public notice are also due by December 21.

FCC Investigates Verizon Wireless' Fee Practices

On December 4, 2009, the FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau sent a letter to Verizon Wireless inquiring into the company's practices of doubling the early termination fee (ETF) for disconnecting service for advanced devices prior to the end of the contract term and charging for minimal, inadvertent use of Verizon's Mobile Web service. The FCC indicated that it is seeking information on account of an ongoing interest in ETF issues and a pending proceeding regarding disclosure of billing information to consumers. Verizon Wireless must respond by December 17, 2009.

FCC Seeks Comments on Children's Media Use, Advertising and Privacy

As previously reported (See Vol. VI, Issue 42), the FCC is seeking comments in response to a Notice of Inquiry on Empowering Parents and Protecting Children in an Evolving Media Landscape. Among the issues on which the FCC seeks input are trends in children's media use and benefits, the adequacy of educational content, potential harms from electronic media, the impact of exposure to advertising, the impact of new types of digital advertising on children, and use of parental control technologies. Comments are due by January 25, 2010, and reply comments by February 22, 2010. For more information, contact Sheila Millar (202-434-4143; millar@khlaw.com) or Tracy Marshall (202-434-4234; marshall@khlaw.com).