Telecom Business Alert -- Vol. IX Issue 13

Date: Mar 26, 2012

FCC Proposes Making 40 MHz of Spectrum Available for Mobile Broadband

Last week, the FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Notice of Inquiry (NPRM) with the goal of making 40 MHz of spectrum available for commercial wireless broadband use. The spectrum is in the 2 GHz band and is currently licensed as paired channels for Mobile Satellite Services (MSS). The Commission's proposal would license the spectrum as 10 MHz channels and retain the current pairing of 2000-2020 MHz with 2180-2200 MHz. The rulemaking also seeks comment on other options the Commission may pursue to free up additional spectrum for mobile broadband use. Comments are due 30 days after the NPRM is published in the Federal Register and Reply Comments are due 15 days later. Please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178) with questions.

Upcoming Renewal Filing Deadline for Many Auctioned MAS Licenses

March 28, 2012 is the expiration date for Multiple Address System (MAS) licenses acquired in 2002 as part of FCC Auction number 42. Licensees that are operating their systems must file renewal applications with the FCC by the expiration date. The renewal application must include a statement demonstrating that the licensee is providing service to at least one-fifth of the population in its service area or "substantial service." Please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4296) with questions.

Universal Service Filing Due April 2, 2012

The Commission's annual USF Form (499-A) must be filed by April 2, 2012. The Form has several revisions for 2012, largely relating to non-interconnected VoIP service providers and calculating and reporting base revenue for the Telecommunications Relay Services Fund contribution. Please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178) with questions.

LightSquared Files Comments with FCC

Earlier this month, LightSquared filed comments with the FCC urging the Commission to reconsider its decision to revoke the company's Conditional Authority that permitted it to test a proposed wireless broadband network in the L-Band. (See Vol. IX, Issue 8). LightSquared argued that GPS receivers are not entitled to interference protection, because the GPS receivers "listen" for GPS signals in the portion of radio spectrum licensed to LightSquared. LightSquared also challenged NTIA's recommendation that the Commission revoke LightSquared's Conditional Authority and contested the accuracy of NTIA's testing, which found that there was no practical way to mitigate potential interference to GPS systems from LightSquared's operations. LightSquared suggested several alternatives that would allow it to deploy a terrestrial wireless broadband network in the L-Band. If none of these alternatives is suitable, the company urged the Commission to exchange LightSquared's L-Band spectrum for alternative terrestrial spectrum. Please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4296) with questions.

Keller and Heckman at Industry Events

Tom Magee will be speaking on How the FCC's New Pole Attachment Order has Affected Electric Utilities at the International Conference on Overhead Lines in Fort Collins, CO on March 29. For more information on this event, please click here.

Keller and Heckman IWCE i-Pad Giveaway Winner: Paul Joyal

Last month, Keller and Heckman held a raffle for an i-Pad at the International Wireless Communications Expo ("IWCE") conference in Las Vegas last month. Of the many visitors to the Keller and Heckman booth who entered the raffle, Paul Joyal, the Managing Director of NSI's Homeland Security and Public Safety Practice, was the winner.

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