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Telecom Business Alert -- Vol. VII Issue 29

Date: Jul 26, 2010

Commission Announces Auction 89 of 218-219 MHz Service and Phase II 220 MHz Service

The Commission announced that Auction 89, which will include 1,420 licenses in the 218-219 MHz Service, will begin December 7, 2010. These licenses, originally known as the Interactive Video and Data Service ("IVDS"), each consist of 500 kHz of unpaired spectrum covering a total of 727 Cellular Market Areas ("CMAs"). Spectrum in the IVDS band may be particularly attractive to current AMTS licensees, including entities that have acquired AMTS spectrum from previous auction winners. Auction 89 will also offer 448 Phase II 220 MHz Service ( 220-222 MHz band) licenses, including 444 Economic Area ("EA") licenses and 4 Economic Area Grouping ("EAG") licenses, covering a total of 154 separate EAs and EAGs. The licenses included in Auction 89 are comprised of spectrum not previously offered at auction, unsold or defaulted licenses from previous auctions, and previous auction licenses that were cancelled or terminated. The Commission has not released the filing dates for submission of applications to participate. For more information or to participate in Auction 89, please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178)

API Comments in FCC Antenna Tower Proceeding

Keller and Heckman LLP's client, the Telecommunications Subcommittee of the American Petroleum Institute, filed comments regarding the FCC's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking ("NPRM") concerning the Construction, Marking and Lighting of Antenna Structures. API urged the Commission to permit more flexibility in construction and maintenance to tower owners. According to API's comments (click Here for a copy), the Commission's vertical accuracy standards should allow for minor deviations (less than one meter) in structure heights. API also opposed specific timeframes for replacing or repairing extinguished lights and urged the Commission to retain the requirements for securing a NOTAM and repairing lighting "as soon as practicable." To create a more complete tower database, API urged the FCC to continue to allow voluntary registration of towers available to 3rd parties searching for open tower space and for licensees to verify information for FCC authorizations. Reply comments are due August 19, 2010. 

New Senate Bill Proposes to Reallocate 700 MHz D-Block to Public Safety

Senator Rockefeller (D-WV), Chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, announced plans to introduce a bill to reallocate the Upper 700 MHz D-Block to Public Safety. This bill rejects the FCC's recommended Auction of the 700 MHz D Block set out in its National Broadband Plan. The strongest Congressional proponents of Auction remain the Democrat leadership on the House Commerce Committee. In addition, Verizon and AT&T have supported allocating the D-Block to Public Safety, but other wireless carriers continue to push for the D-Block Auction. For more information, please contact Doug Jarrett (Jarrett@khlaw.com; 202.434.4180).

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