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Telecom Business Alert -- Vol. VIII Issue 48

Date: Nov 28, 2011

FCC Releases Text of USF and Intercarrier Compensation Report and Order

Last month, the FCC adopted a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking ("Report and Order") refocusing the Universal Service Fund ("USF") on broadband and adopting a series of reforms to USF and Intercarrier Compensation ("ICC"). (See, Vol VIII, Issue 44). The FCC released its 751-page Report and Order last week. As expected, the Report and Order will require USF funds to support broadband service in addition to voice service. Over time, existing USF programs will be subsumed within the broadband-focused Connect America Fund ("CAF"). Comments on the USF portion of the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking ("FNPRM") are due January 18, 2012 and Reply Comments must be filed by February 17th. Comments on the Intercarrier Compensation portion of the FNPRM are due February 24th and Reply Comments must be submitted by March 30th. For more information, please contact Doug Jarrett (202.434.4180; jarrett@khlaw.com). AT&T Withdraws T-Mobile Transfer of Control Application from FCC On November 24th, AT&T and Deutsche Telekom withdrew their transfer of control application from the FCC. The companies apparently have decided to focus on the Department of Justice's antitrust lawsuit, believing the FCC will grant a revised transfer of control application after a favorable court decision or approved settlement. In March, the companies announced that AT&T agreed to acquire T-Mobile from Deutsche Telekom for $39 billion. For more information, please see Keller and Heckman's Beyond Telecom Law Blog or contact Doug Jarrett (202.434.4180; jarrett@khlaw.com). Corporate Counsel Corner: FCC Fines Tower Owner For Failing To Repaint Structure

Last month, the FCC issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture finding a tower owner apparently liable for a forfeiture in the amount of $20,000 for, among other things, failing to repaint its antenna structure as often as necessary to maintain good visibility. This Notice of Apparent Liability serves as the most recent reminder to licensees and tower owners that the Commission's Enforcement Bureau aggressively enforces the FCC's rules regarding tower marking and lighting, assignments and transfers of control and unauthorized operation. Please contact Wes Wright (202.434.4296; wright@khlaw.com) with questions.

FCC Licensing Tip of the Week: Hard Copies of Rules Not Required A number of FCC licensees recently have received standardized letters from an application processing firm indicating that the Commission requires licensees to maintain a hard copy of the FCC's current rules at sites where FCC-licensed radio systems are operated. The FCC does not require companies to maintain a hard copy of the rules, although licensees should understand and ensure continuing compliance with all applicable rules. Electronic copies of the rules are available without charge by clicking here. For more information, please contact Tim Doughty (202.434.4271; doughty@khlaw.com).

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