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Telecom Business Alert -- Vol. VII Issue 8

Date: Mar 01, 2010

FCC Spectrum Opportunity: Auction of VHF and UHF Paired Paging Frequencies Set for May 25 As previously reported, FCC Auction 87 is scheduled to commence on May 25, 2010. The auction will include 9,603 licenses, including 7,752 licenses in the lower paging bands (35 MHz, 43 MHz, 152/158 MHz (paired) and 454/459 MHz (paired)) and 1,851 licenses in the upper paging bands (929 MHz and 931 MHz). These licenses are designated for commercial service, but many private licensees have acquired previously auctioned paging frequencies. A rule waiver is required to use these frequencies for private, internal purposes, but the FCC routinely grants such waivers. These frequency assignments are not subject to narrow banding. The short-form application must be filed by March 16, 2010, the upfront is due by April 23, 2010, and a mock auction is scheduled for May 21, 2010. Please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178) with any questions.

"Concerned Utilities" Highlight Make-Ready And Other Concerns To Chairman

In the run-up to the FCC's Broadband Plan (due March 17) and to set the stage for renewed attention to the Pole Attachment Proceeding, Keller and Heckman on Friday filed a letter to Chairman Genachowski on behalf of the "Coalition of Concerned Utilities" (Allegheny Power, Baltimore Gas & Electric, Dayton Power & Light, FirstEnergy, Kansas City Power & Light, National Grid, NSTAR and PPL Electric Utilities), highlighting the many serious operational, safety and rate concerns raised by make-ready and other proposals by communications attachers. To view the letter, click here. For additional information about this filing, please contact Tom Magee (magee@khlaw.com, 202-434-4128).

National Broadband Plan to Chart New Direction for Public Safety Wireless Broadband

The National Broadband Plan (NBP) is on the tentative agenda for the FCC's next Open Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, March 16. Last week, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau Chief James Barnett highlighted aspects of the NBP that seriously disappointed long time advocates within the Public Safety wireless community: the NBP will propose that the 700 MHz "D-Block" be auctioned, rejecting the proposal that the 10 MHz "D-Block" be allocated to Public Safety. According to their prepared statements, the NBP will redefine the Public Safety broadband network to include the 10 MHz licensed to PSST, plus all commercial broadband wireless networks operating on 700 MHz band assignments. Due to a lack of funds to construct wireless broadband networks, Public Safety entities will be encouraged to access commercial networks as subscribers. These broadband wireless carriers' will be called upon to comply with interoperability standards to be developed by the FCC's new Emergency Response and Interoperability Center. Keller and Heckman LLP at IWCE Doug Jarrett will be participating in the IWCE Conference at the Las Vegas Convention Center (Booth # 2098) March 10-12. On Thursday, March 11, 2:45-4:00 PM, Doug Jarrett will moderate an IWCE panel discussion "700 MHz on the Street" that will focus on Public Safety broadband deployments in the 700 MHz band. If you plan to attend, please stop by and visit.

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In an attempt to address in our weekly Telecom Business Alert the issues of most importance to the clients and friends of Keller and Heckman LLP, we invite you to submit suggestions on topics of interest to you. To make suggestions, please send an e-mail to TelecomAlert@khlaw.com.

Keller and Heckman LLP's Telecom Business Alert is a complimentary weekly electronic update created by the Telecommunications and the Business Counseling and Transactional practice groups of Keller and Heckman LLP.

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