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Telecom Business Alert -- Vol. VIII Issue 35

Date: Aug 29, 2011

FCC Investigates Service Disruptions Following East Coast Quake

Commercial wireless service was disrupted, as commercial networks proved unreliable in the aftermath of last Tuesday's 5.8-magnitude earthquake near Washington, D.C. Spinning the story as best they could, wireless carriers reported no infrastructure damage from the earthquake and attributed service disruptions to heavy call volumes. The Trade Press reports the FCC contacted several wireless carriers to determine the cause of the disruptions and develop steps to improve communications service during future emergencies. This latest cell network debacle—a scenario outlined by Public Safety representatives in testimony and numerous filings in the 700 MHz D-Block allocation discussions—underscores the importance of allocating broadband spectrum dedicated for Public Safety and Critical Infrastructure Industry use. Please contact Doug Jarrett (202.434.4180; jarrett@khlaw.com) with questions.

Motorola Solutions Agrees to Sell Fixed-Wireless Business

Last week, Motorola Solutions agreed to sell its point-to-point (PTP) Orthogon and point-to-multipoint (PMP) Canopy business units to Vector Capital, a private equity firm for an undisclosed amount. Vector Capital has indicated that it plans to continue operating these business units under the name Cambium Networks. The PTP and PMP businesses are leaders in the wireless broadband industry. The deal is expected to close by the end of September and follows news from earlier this month that Motorola Mobility Holdings will be acquired by Google for approximately $12.5 billion. For questions, please contact Greg Kunkle (202.434.4178; kunkle@khlaw.com).

Corporate Counsel Corner: Narrowbanding

Most oil and gas companies, electric utilities, railroads and public safety entities rely on private internal radio systems to support day-to-day operations. As of January 1, 2013, the FCC will require land mobile licenses held by these entities in the VHF (150-174 MHz) and UHF (421-512 MHz) bands to operate on narrowband channels (12.5 kHz-wide channels). This will require many of these entities to file modification applications at the FCC and, in some instances, purchase new equipment to replace outdated radios. Budgeting and planning for the narrowband transition should begin soon because the deadline is fast approaching and likely will not be extended. Failure to comply with this requirement likely will result in license termination and financial penalties. Please contact Wes Wright (202.434.4296; wright@khlaw.com) with questions.

Annual FCC Regulatory Fees due September 14th

Earlier this month, the FCC announced that regulatory fees for the fiscal year 2011 are due by September 14, 2011. Licensees of certain facilities, such as Satellite Earth Stations, are required to make annual regulatory fee payments. The Commission recently revised its schedule of regulatory fees. For many licensed facilities, like microwave and land mobile systems, the regulatory fees are paid as part of an application fee charged at the time an application for new authority is submitted to the Commission. For questions, please contact Tim Doughty (202.434.4271; doughty@khlaw.com).

K&H Video Minute: Tim Doughty on Common Pitfalls at the FCC

In this week's Video Minute, Keller and Heckman Licensing Specialist Tim Doughty discuss common pitfalls private licensees run into at the FCC. For this week's Video Minute, click here.

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

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