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Telecom Business Alert -- Vol. VIII Issue 45

Date: Nov 07, 2011

President Obama Nominates Two New FCC Commissioners

Last week, President Obama officially nominated Jessica Rosenworcel and Ajit Pai to serve as FCC Commissioners. Ms. Rosenworcel will replace Democrat Michael Copps when his term expires next year and Mr. Pai will replace Republican Meredith Atwell Baker, who left the Commission earlier this year. Ms. Rosenworcel serves as the Senior Communications Counsel for the Senate Commerce Committee and was a Legal Advisor to Commissioner Copps from 2003-2007. Mr. Pai is currently a partner at a law firm in D.C. and previously worked at the FCC from 2007-2011, most recently as Deputy General Counsel. Both nominees are expected to be confirmed by the Senate, possibly before Congress adjourns for the Holidays. For more information, please contact Doug Jarrett (202.434.4180; jarrett@khlaw.com).

FCC Public Notice Seeks Comment on Trunking Clarification Request

The FCC released a Public Notice last month seeking comment on a request for clarification by Icom, America, Inc. ("Icom") regarding the FCC's rules for trunked operations in the VHF and UHF land mobile bands. The FCC's rules currently require decentralized trunked radio systems to employ equipment that prevents transmission on a trunked frequency if a signal from another system is present on that frequency sufficient to avoid causing harmful interference to other systems. Icom has asked the Commission whether "a 250 millisecond data burst from a control channel idle message [would] represent harmful interference." Icom asserts that its data burst would not impact an analog signal and be barely discernable white noise. Comments are due November 25, 2011 and Reply Comments are due by December 12, 2011. Please contact Greg Kunkle (202.434.4178; kunkle@khlaw.com) with questions.

FCC Seeks Comment on Petition for Rulemaking For In-Vehicle Repeaters

Last month, the FCC released a Public Notice seeking comment on a Petition for Rulemaking filed by Pyramid Communications requesting the Commission revise its rules to facilitate the use of VHF vehicular repeater units by Public Safety licensees. In its Petition, Pyramid requests dedicated VHF spectrum for vehicular repeaters because the band is saturated with existing land mobile licensees. Among the channels requested by Pyramid for vehicular repeater units are VHF channels currently allocated for fixed data use and commonly referred to as "splinter channels" in the 173 MHz range. Reply comments in response to the Petition are due November 18, 2011. For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (202.434.4178; kunkle@khlaw.com).

FCC Licensing Tip of the Week

A tower on which required top-mounted lighting is not functioning properly must contact the Federal Aviation Administration and request a Notice to Airmen ("NOTAM") be issued. Under the FCC's rules, lighting must be repaired or replaced as soon as practicable. A NOTAM is valid for 15 days and may be extended if the lighting outage is not corrected within that 15-day period. The NOTAM should be canceled once the lighting has been restored. Please contact Wes Wright (202.434.4296; wright@khlaw.com) with questions.

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