Telecom Business Alert -- Vol. IX Issue 19

Date: May 07, 2012

FCC FNPRM Seeks Comments, Proposals on Reforming USF Contributions

Last week, the FCC released a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on proposals to reform and modernize the assessment and collection of Universal Service Fund (USF) contributions. The FNPRM proposes three alternatives: (1) reform the existing revenue-based systems, (2) assess contributions as a connections-based system whereby providers would contribute a set amount per connection regardless of the revenue derived from that connection; and (3) implement a numbers-based methodology and assess a standard monthly amount per phone number. The FNPRM also looks at requiring contributions from broadband Internet access services. Comments must be filed 30 days after the FNPRM is published in the Federal Register and Reply Comments are due 60 days after publication. Please contact Doug Jarrett (202.434.4180; jarrett@khlaw.com) with questions.

FCC Unveils Rules for First Connect America Fund Reverse Auction

Last week, the FCC released rules for its Mobility Fund Phase I Reverse Auction, which will offer $300 million for carriers willing to provide 3G and 4G mobile wireless service in unserved areas of the country. The Commission also released a map of areas eligible for coverage. The auction is tentatively scheduled to start September 27 and winners are required to deploy 4G service within three years of the award and 3G service within two years. Phase II of the Mobility Fund eventually will provide $500 million annually for ongoing support of mobile services. Please contact Doug Jarrett (202.434.4180; jarrett@khlaw.com) with questions.

Grassley Releases Hold on FCC Nominees, Senate Vote Expected This Month

Last week, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) released his hold on FCC nominees Ajit Pai and Jessica Rosenworcel. (See Vol. VIII, Issue 50). Over the past several weeks, the Commission provided nearly 6,000 agency documents satisfying Senator Grassley's demand for greater transparency into the FCC's decision making in granting LightSquared's conditional waiver to build a terrestrial network in the L-Band. The Senate is expected to confirm Mr. Pai (a Republican) and Ms. Rosenworcel (a Democrat) on May 7. Please contact Wes Wright (202.434.4296; wright@khlaw.com) with questions.

NRECA and Keller and Heckman to Offer Pole Attachment Webinar

From 1:00 -2:00 p.m. Eastern on May 24, 2012, Keller and Heckman partnerTom Magee will participate in a webinar hosted by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) for its rural electric members to discuss the FCC's pole attachment Order. NRECA is a national service organization for more than 900 not-for-profit rural electric cooperatives and public power districts providing retail electric service to more than 42 million consumers in 47 states. Please contact Tom (magee@khlaw.com; 202.434.4128) with questions.

Keller and Heckman at ENTELEC 2012 Conference and Expo

Keller and Heckman LLP attorneys Doug Jarrett, Greg Kunkle, Tracy Marshall and Wes Wright will be attending the ENTELEC 2012 Conference and Expo in Houston, TX, May 15-17. Keller and Heckman is sponsoring a Continental Breakfast at 8 AM on Thursday, May 17, immediately followed by the annual Washington Roundtable by Mr. Jarrett, Mr. Kunkle and Ms. Marshall, moderated by Keller and Heckman. As part of the Washington Roundtable, Keller and Heckman's attorneys will discuss, in "Q&A" format, the latest telecom legislation and FCC activities. 

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