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Telecom Business Alert -- Vol. VIII Issue 30

Date: Jul 25, 2011

FCC To Consider Wireless Backhaul Proceeding at Upcoming Open Meeting

On August 9, 2011, the FCC is scheduled to hold an Open Meeting to address, among other things, a pending Report and Order, Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Memorandum Opinion and Order ("Report") on additional spectrum for wireless backhaul to promote broadband deployment. The FCC is focusing on the Part 101 bands below 13 GHz. The Commission is considering providing additional spectrum for the fixed microwave service derived from portions of the Broadcast Auxiliary Service ("BAS")(6875-7125 MHz), Cable TV Relay Service ("CARS")(12.7-13.2 GHz) and perhaps other bands. The Report may also address other items, including whether the FCC could promote wireless backhaul deployment by lowering the minimum payload capacities in rural areas or by revising Part 101 to permit smaller antennas to reduce costs. The tentative agenda for the meeting is available here. Please contact Greg Kunkle (202.434.4178; kunkle@khlaw.com) with questions.

FCC Seeks Additional Time to Consider AT&T/T-Mobile Merger

Last Wednesday, the FCC sent a letter to AT&T stopping the Commission's 180-day clock to review its proposed merger with T-Mobile so that the FCC and interested parties can review data that the FCC requested from AT&T relating to the efficiencies the merger may deliver. The Commission will restart the 180-day clock once AT&T submits the new data and third parties have had adequate time to evaluate and comment on the data. Also last week, the Senate's leading Democrat on antitrust issues, Herb Kohl (Wis.), wrote a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and Attorney General Eric Holder urging the regulators to block the merger because it would lead to less competition and higher prices for consumers. Please contact Doug Jarrett (Jarrett@khlaw.com; 202.434.4180) with questions.

Wireless Siting Regulations and Fees at Issue in FCC Proceeding

Last week, the National League of Cities filed comments in the FCC's proceeding on Public Rights of Way and Wireless Siting, arguing that local zoning and permitting policies do not delay broadband deployment and that any attempt by the Commission to preempt their jurisdiction would be unconstitutional. Several wireless service providers countered by providing examples of localities charging excessive fees and imposing unreasonable delays in processing applications to install facilities. Wireless providers argued that the local regulations made it more difficult to find suitable sites to provide coverage into areas and that the fees were not related to the cost of managing the rights of way. The wireless industry urged the FCC to impose shorter shot clocks for collocation applications and to reduce right-of-way and permitting fees. The National League of Cities comments are available here. Comments filed by PCIA – the Wireless Infrastructure Association are available here.

FCC Licensing Tip of the Week

Many FCC licensees hold several licenses under different FCC Registration Numbers ("FRNs"). This often results when a new FRN is created because a company employee or contractor does not know the existing FRN or password when applying for a license. The existence of multiple FRNs increases the likelihood that key deadlines (e.g. filing notifications of construction or renewal applications) will be missed. To minimize this consequence, licensees should consider consolidating all of their licenses under a single FRN, deleting all other FRNs from the FCC's database. Please contact Wes Wright (202.434.4296; wright@khlaw.com) with questions.

Register for Webinar, Towards Privacy By Design: Smart Grid and Other Technologies

Join Keller and Heckman LLP attorneys Sheila Millar and Tracy Marshall this Thursday, July 28, from 11 to 12:30 EST for a webinar, Towards Privacy By Design: Smart Grid and Other Technologies. This is the final webinar in our six-part series, "The Privacy Playbook: A Practical Guide for Businesses." You can purchase a recording of each webinar for $145 per webinar or $650 for all six. For more information or to register, click here or contact Tara Busby (Busby@khlaw.com).

K&H Video Minute: Mike Morrone on the Signal Booster Proceeding

In this week's Video Minute, Keller and Heckman Partner Mike Morrone discusses the FCC's Signal Booster Proceeding. For this week's Video Minute, click here.

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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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