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Telecom Business Alert -- Vol. IX Issue 21

Date: May 21, 2012

EWA asks FCC to Modify T-Band Licensing Freeze

In a Public Notice released April 26, the FCC announced it will no longer accept or process applications for new T-Band licenses (470-512 MHz ) or applications seeking to modify existing T-Band licenses by adding or changing frequencies or locations or changing technical parameters in a manner that expands the station's spectral or geographic footprint. The FCC will continue to process applications to renew existing T-Band licenses, delete frequencies or locations and increase the number of mobile units. The Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA) has filed a Request for Clarification asking the agency also to permit changes in location that do not expand a frequency contour as well as changes in frequency at an already authorized location. EWA argued that the freeze is too broad and would affect applications that would not increase the cost or difficulty of auctioning the T-band licenses. Please contact Wes Wright (202.434.4296; wright@khlaw.com) with questions.

Lightsquared Files for Bankruptcy

Last week, LightSquared filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company listed assets of $4.48 billion and liabilities of $2.29 billion as of February 29. Last year, LightSquared received a conditional authorization from the FCC to test a wireless broadband network in the L-band. Earlier this year, the Commission revoked the company's authorization because of concerns that LightSquared's network would cause interference to GPS systems operating in nearby frequencies. The company has announced that it still plans to construct a wireless broadband network and has said the bankruptcy filing will enable it to continue working through the regulatory process. Please contact Greg Kunkle (202.434.4178; kunkle@khlaw.com) with questions.

FCC Narrowband Deadline Reminder

By January 1, 2013, Industrial/Business and Public Safety Radio Pool licensees in the VHF (150-174 MHz) and UHF (421-512 MHz) bands must operate on 12.5 kHz or narrower channels or employ a technology that achieves the narrowband equivalent of one channel per 12.5 kHz of channel bandwidth (voice) or 4800 bits per second per 6.25 kHz (data). Many public safety and private land mobile licenses in the VHF and UHF bands still require narrowbanding. Licensees that do not meet the January 1, 2013 narrowband requirements likely will be subject to enforcement action, including monetary forfeitures and/or license cancellation. For assistance in filing the required narrowband applications, please contact Wes Wright (202.434.4296; wright@khlaw.com).

Keller and Heckman at Industry Events

Keller and Heckman attorneys Greg Kunkle and Tracy Marshall will be attending the Utilities Telecom Council conference in Orlando, Florida the following week. Ms. Marshall will be discussing Data Security Developments at 9 a.m. on Monday, May 21. On Tuesday, May 22, Mr. Kunkle will participate in a panel providing tips on how to navigate the FCC's Secondary Markets for wireless spectrum. Please stop by booth #728 to visit. On May 22, Tom Magee will be speaking on "Issues and Challenges from the FCC's Pole Attachment Order" at the Rocky Mountain Electric League's Spring Management Engineering and Operations Conference in Omaha, Nebraska. At 1:00 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday, May 24, Mr. 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.

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