Telecom Business Alert -- Vol. VIII Issue 9

Date: Feb 28, 2011

Narrowbanding Rush Creating Significant Delays at FCC

The FCC's processing time for routine private land mobile and microwave applications has increased significantly over the last few months, in large part due to a flood of applications for modified and new authority for VHF and UHF stations received prior to the first narrowbanding deadline of December 31, 2010. We expect the number of applications to remain elevated in light of the FCC's mandatory narrowbanding transition deadline of December 31, 2012. As a result, application processing times will continue to run longer than what the industry had grown accustomed to in recent years. Accordingly, licensees should build extended application processing times into timelines to deploy new land mobile and microwave systems As a reminder, the Commission's rules permit many private land mobile and microwave systems to begin operating under Conditional Temporary Authority as described in Parts 90 and 101 of the Rules. Please contact Wes Wright (202.434.4296; wright@khlaw.com) with questions.

H.R. 607 May Create Spectrum Reassignment Problems


In his recent "Wireless Innovation and Infrastructure Initiative," (Vol VIII, Issue 7), President Obama stated his intention to allocate the 700 MHz D-Block for public safety. One proposal to do so has some licensees concerned. Rep. Peter King (R-NY), Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, introduced H.R. 607, the "Broadband for First Responders Act of 2011," which has been referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee. While Rep. King's bill allocates the D-Block for public safety, it also proposes that all Public Safety licensees operating systems on spectrum above 170 MHz and below 512 MHz be relocated to Public Safety 700 and 800 MHz spectrum over the next ten years. To compensate for the loss of the proceeds projected for a D-Block auction, the bill directs that the 420-440 MHz band and Public Safety assignments in the 450-470 MHz band be auctioned for commercial use within the next ten years. The legislation poses a substantial challenge for Public Safety agencies committed to the UHF band for narrowband voice operations.

Keller and Heckman LLP at the International Wireless Communications Expo


Keller and Heckman LLP attorneys Doug Jarrett, Greg Kunkle, Wes Wright, and Licensing Specialist Tim Doughty will attend the International Wireless Communications Expo in Las Vegas, NV, March 8-11. Doug will give a presentation entitled "Public and Private Partnerships for Communications Networks: Assessing Opportunities" on March 10th at 11:15 AM, and Greg will be a luncheon speaker on the topic of "Intrinsically Safe Radio – Meeting the New Standards", also on March 10th, at 1 PM. Please contact Doug (202.434.4180; jarrett@khlaw.com) or Greg (202.434.4178; kunkle@khlaw.com) if you have any questions, or stop by booth #4115.

Complimentary Pole Attachment Conference Call

As noted in February 14th's Telecom Alert, the FCC is scheduled to vote April 7th on its much-anticipated Order in the Pole Attachment proceeding. One day later, Keller and Heckman LLP attorney Tom Magee, who represents a group of nine electric utilities (the "Coalition of Concerned Utilities"), will conduct a complimentary one-hour conference call from 1:00-2:00 p.m. Eastern Time on April 8 to analyze the decision with Coalition members and other clients and friends who are not already represented by outside counsel in this proceeding. If you have questions, please feel free to contact Tom (202.434.4128; magee@khlaw.com).

K&H Video Minute: Wes Wright and Tim Doughty on Transactional Licensing

In this week's Video Minute, Keller and Heckman LLP Associate Wes Wright and Licensing Specialist Tim Doughty team up to discuss transactional licensing at the FCC. Business transactions have many moving parts and the transfer of FCC licenses is a frequently overlooked aspect of the process, but Tim and Wes explain why it is crucial to keep the Commission informed during mergers and acquisitions. For this week's Video Minute, click here: http://www.khlaw.com/shownews.aspx?show=4306

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