Telecom Business Alert -- Vol. VIII Issue 32

Date: Aug 08, 2011

LightSquared and GPS Industry Continue Fight at FCC

Of interest to those relying on GPS services, last week LightSquared filed comments at the FCC characterizing the GPS industry's opposition to its proposed operations as "vitriolic" and claiming the industry was taking "an unprecedented ‘squatters rights' view of spectrum management" under which it effectively appropriates spectrum for which it is not licensed simply by deploying receivers that are incapable of filtering out signals in nearby bands. LightSquared has proposed a modified deployment plan that would permit it to operate using 10 MHz of spectrum in the lower-portion of the 1525-1559 MHz band. LightSquared believes this would avoid interference to more than 99% of GPS receivers, but many GPS stakeholders have their doubts. GPS stakeholders have urged the Commission to rescind the conditional waiver granted to LightSquared in January. More than 2,500 comments have been filed in this proceeding. Reply comments must be filed by August 15th. Please see the "K&H Video Minute" below for further details, and feel free to contact Greg Kunkle (Kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178) with questions.

FCC Public Notice Seeks Information on USF/ICC Transformation

On August 3, the FCC issued a Public Notice seeking comment on proposed reforms to the Universal Service Fund (USF) and intercarrier compensation system (ICC). This Public Notice follows a proposal submitted by the US Telecom Association (USTA) last month on behalf of six wireline providers, including AT&T and Verizon, as well as three rural telecom associations. USTA's proposal would provide $100 million for wireless services out of a budget of $4.5 billion and create a $300 million mobility fund from which satellite and wireless providers would be able to draw. The Rural Cellular Association called the proposal "a joke" for omitting meaningful funding for wireless services. Comments in response to the Public Notice must be filed by August 24th and Reply Comments are due August 31st. The Commission is planning to adopt an Order in this proceeding at its October Open Meeting. Please contact Doug Jarrett (202.434.4180; jarrett@khlaw.com) with questions.

Texas Seeks Statewide, Interoperable 700 MHz Network

Last week, the State of Texas filed a plan with the FCC for a statewide public safety interoperable LTE network in the 700 MHz band. The FCC approved similar filings last year by certain States (New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Alabama and others) and municipalities (Boston, San Antonia, Seattle and others). The Commission provided guidance to public safety licensees seeking waiver requests in the 700 MHz band, indicating that future deployment plans should be submitted to the Emergency Response Interoperability Center (ERIC) to ensure technical consistency and interoperability. Several conflicting bills are currently pending before Congress regarding the allocation of the D Block, and it is unclear whether the Commission will grant Texas' request in light of the uncertainty on Capitol Hill. Please contact Doug Jarrett (jarrett@khlaw.com; 202.434.4180) with questions.

FCC Licensing Tip of the Week

Last month, the FCC released its Fiscal Year 2011 Schedule of Regulatory Fees. Licensees of certain facilities, such as Satellite Earth Stations, must make annual regulatory fee payments by August 31st. For many licensed facilities, licensees are only required to pay regulatory fees when filing an application for a new, renewed, or reinstated license, together with payment of the appropriate application fee. Please contact Wes Wright (202.434.4296; wright@khlaw.com) with questions.

K&H Video Minute: Greg Kunkle on LightSquared's FCC Plans

In this week's Video Minute, Keller and Heckman Partner Greg Kunkle discusses LightSquared's plans at the FCC. For this week's Video Minute, click here.

Did You Miss Our Privacy Webinar Series?

Do you understand the importance of privacy and data security training in today's complex legal environment? You can purchase a recording of one or more of our webinars from the series, The Privacy Playbook: A Practical Guide for Businesses, for $145 each or $650 for all six. The webinars include: The Privacy Legal Landscape; Building Privacy Into Advertising and Marketing; Privacy Considerations in the Employment Context; Best Practices for Protecting Data and Managing Data Breaches; Practical Tips for Avoiding Privacy Enforcement and Lawsuits; and Towards Privacy By Design: Smart Grid and Other Technologies. For more information, please contact Tara Busby (202-434-4174 or busby@khlaw.com).

Don't forget to visit the Beyond Telecom Law Blog! http://www.beyondtelecomlawblog.com

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