Telecom Business Alert -- Vol. VIII Issue 23

Date: Jun 06, 2011

Preliminary Testing Indicates LightSquared System Interferes With GPS

Earlier this year, the FCC granted LightSquared a conditional waiver to build a terrestrial-only network in the L-Band, previously allocated solely for mobile satellite service. Due to concerns raised by manufacturers and users of GPS technology, the FCC required LightSquared to establish a working group to assess the potential interference of its proposed terrestrial operations to adjacent band GPS downlinks. Several recent tests indicate that the impact on GPS may be more severe than LightSquared had initially envisioned. In a letter to the FAA, New Mexico's E-911 program director indicated system errors for emergency response vehicles near a LightSquared tower, and in an ex parte presentation to the FCC, John Deere reported severe interference on its tractors' GPS systems as far as 20 miles away from a LightSquared tower. Additionally, a report published by RTCA claims GPS aviation receivers would experience serious interference from LightSquared's terrestrial operations.

Over 37,000 Comments Filed in AT&T/T-Mobile Merger Docket

The deadline for Petitions to Deny passed last week in the FCC proceeding concerning the proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile. To date, there have been more than 37,000 comments from the public regarding the merger. The most anticipated filing was Sprint's Petition to Deny, which was filed on Tuesday. In its 377-page petition, Sprint argued that the combination of AT&T and T-Mobile would stifle competition in the domestic wireless market and command approximately 43 percent of the post-paid consumer wireless market. As a result, according to Sprint, a duopoly would be created with Verizon that would control 76 percent of all wireless subscribers. Opposition pleadings in this proceeding are due June 10, with replies due June 20.

Analysis of Pole Attachment Order: "Stunning Disregard for Electric Utility Concerns"

In an article published in AGL Magazine's May 2011 issue, Keller and Heckman Partner Tom Magee analyzes the Commission's April 7 Pole Attachment Order. The article discusses the harmful effects of the Order on utilities, including onerous new make-ready deadlines and the new rate rulings that could cost utilities and their ratepayers hundreds of millions of dollars a year. The full text of the article has been made available to Telecom Alert subscribers, courtesy of AGL and Biby Publishing. For the article, click here.

Webinar: "Spectrum Availability for Next Generation Critical Infrastructure Communications"

On June 14, Keller and Heckman LLP attorneys will present a webinar entitled "Spectrum Availability for Next Generation Critical Infrastructure Communications". Smart grid, positive train control, and high speed SCADA are among the next generation technologies that critical infrastructure industries are seeking to implement, and they all require radio spectrum. With the FCC largely ignoring these spectrum needs, how can CII entities acquire this spectrum? This webinar will discuss spectrum options for CII entities, FCC secondary market rules, and key contractual and due diligence considerations for all types of spectrum acquisitions. For more information or to register, click here.

Visiting Washington, DC This Summer?

Navigating Washington, DC can be tricky at times for even the savviest insider. If you plan on visiting Washington this summer, let Keller and Heckman help! K&H has been in Washington, DC for almost 50 years, and our offices are conveniently located in the heart of DC. We encourage all visitors to stop by and see us in person. If you would like to arrange a visit, or need any assistance during your stay in Washington, please contact us at 202.434.4100.

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