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Telecom Business Alert -- Vol. VII Issue 22

Date: Jun 07, 2010

Paging Auction To Begin June 15th, Mock Auction Scheduled for June 11th

A total of 69 bidders were qualified by the FCC to participate in the upcoming auction of 9,603 licenses for spectrum in the lower and upper paging bands. The auction, which includes 7,752 licenses in the lower paging bands (35 MHz, 43 MHz, 152/158 MHz (paired) and 454/459 MHz (unpaired) and 1,851 licenses in the upper paging bands (929 MHz and 931 MHz) is scheduled to begin on June 15, 2010. The Commission will be conducting a mock auction on June 11. The minimum opening bid for each license is $500. These licenses are designated for commercial service, but many private licensees, including utilities, oil and gas companies and public safety entities, have acquired previously-auctioned paging frequencies and secured a rule waiver to use these frequencies for private, internal purposes. More information about the auction is available by clicking here. For further information, please feel free to contact Keller and Heckman llp attorney, Wes Wright (202 434 4296; wright@khlaw.com).

FCC Issues Enforcement Advisory on 700 MHz Wireless Microphones

FCC Enforcement Bureau recently issued an Enforcement Advisory reminding the public of the prohibition against manufacturing, selling, importing, leasing and shipping wireless microphones or other low power auxiliary stations that operate in the 700 MHz Band. The Commission's rules prohibit the use of wireless microphones in the 700 MHz band in order to prevent harmful interference to public safety-related communications and wireless consumer services. The FCC has imposed restrictions on the marketing of wireless microphone equipment and disclosure requirements on retailers. The Advisory is available here.

OCAS System Exempt from FCC's Continuous Lighting Requirement

On June 2, 2010, the FCC issued a letter confirming that an antenna structure for which an OCAS audio visual warning system ("AVWS") has been authorized and deployed is exempt from the continuous lighting requirements under the Commission's rules. OCAS, Inc., a Keller and Heckman LLP client, developed the OCAS System as an AVWS to be deployed on or near air navigation obstacles such as electrical transmission lines, telecommunications towers and wind turbines. In its letter, the FCC confirmed that when the FAA issues a Determination of No Hazard for a tower to use an AVWS, and where the use of the AVWS for that tower is specified in the FCC's antenna structure registration ("ASR") database, the FCC's rules do not require continuous exhibition of lights on that tower. In March, OCAS, Inc. filed a Petition for Rulemaking requesting the FCC initiate a rulemaking proceeding to establish a new Subpart T, Audio Visual Warning Systems ("AVWS"), under Part 87 of its Rules. This petition remains pending. The FCC's letter is available here. For further information, please contact Keller and Heckman llp partner, Doug Jarrett (202 434 4180; Jarrett@khlaw.com).

FCC Open Meeting to Focus on Net Neutrality Debate

The FCC's next Open Meeting is scheduled for June 17, 2010. The sole item on the agenda at this Meeting is a Notice of Inquiry ("NOI") on the legal frameworks for the FCC's regulation of broadband Internet services. The NOI seeks public comment on various questions, including the appropriate classification of terrestrial wireless and satellite broadband Internet services. This NOI, and the Commission's discussion of its role in regulating the Internet, follows an April 6, 2010 decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit vacating an FCC order asserting jurisdiction over Comcast's network management practices. The case arose from a complaint and petition for declaratory ruling relating to allegations by subscribers of Comcast's high-speed Internet service that the company was interfering with their use of BitTorrent and other peer-to-peer networking applications.

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