Telecom Business Alert -- Vol. VIII Issue 49

Date: Dec 05, 2011

FCC Establishes LightSquared FOIA Web Portal


Last month, the FCC established a website to provide access to documents requested from the agency under the Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA") related to the LightSquared proceeding. Earlier this year, the FCC granted LightSquared a conditional waiver to build a terrestrial wireless network in the L-Band, which was previously allocated for mobile satellite service. The GPS industry raised questions regarding the FCC's evaluation of LightSquared's proposal and sent numerous requests for documents and other information to the FCC under FOIA. The Commission is in the process of releasing internal documents responsive to these FOIA requests and is expected to release all requested documents online in the coming weeks. For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (202.434.4178; kunkle@khlaw.com).

 "The documents the FCC has released so far were largely already public and do not appear to reflect anything out of the ordinary."
-Greg Kunkle
Partner, Keller and Heckman LLP


JOBS Act Would Provide for Incentive Auctions and D-Block to Public Safety


Last week, House Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) introduced the Jumpstarting Opportunity with Broadband Spectrum Act of 2011 ("JOBS Act"). If passed, the JOBS Act would allocate the 700 MHz band D-Block to Public Safety instead of auctioning the spectrum and provide more than $6 billion to construct an interoperable, public safety broadband network. The bill provides only meager opportunities for critical infrastructure entities to access the D-Block network. The JOBS Act also would provide the FCC with authority to hold incentive auctions for TV broadcast spectrum. Rep. Walden estimates that incentive auctions would raise more than $15 billion by auctioning spectrum currently held by broadcasters and allowing the current broadcast licensees to retain a portion of the auction proceeds. For more information, please contact Doug Jarrett (202.434.4180; jarrett@khlaw.com).

FCC: AT&T Failed to Show Public Benefit of T-Mobile Acquisition


Last week, the FCC's Wireless Bureau issued its Analysis and Findings regarding AT&T's proposed acquisition of T-Mobile. The Findings concluded that the proposed deal would harm innovation in the wireless industry by eliminating a key competitor and cause net job losses nationwide. AT&T responded to the FCC's Findings by claiming that the staff's Analysis was "one-sided" and "not a considered analysis" of the proposed deal. In light of the FCC's opposition and the Department of Justice's lawsuit, many telecom analysts predict chances are slim that the proposed $39 billion deal will receive regulatory approval. 

Corporate Counsel Corner: K&H Partner Published In Executive Counsel Magazine


This month's Executive Counsel magazine includes an article by Keller and Heckman Partner Greg Kunkle discussing the FCC's rules regarding the purchase and sale of FCC licenses and transfer of control of FCC licensees as part of a corporate merger or acquisition. The article reminded corporate counsel of the often overlooked requirement of Section 310 (d) of the Communications Act that entities involved in a transaction must secure the FCC's consent prior to closing any transaction resulting in an assignment of a FCC license or change in ownership of an FCC licensee. Please contact Greg Kunkle (202.434.4178; kunkle@khlaw.com) with questions.

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