Telecom Business Alert -- Vol. IX Issue 26

Date: Jun 25, 2012

FCC Seeks Comment on Microwave Spectrum Usage Report

Last week, the FCC issued a Public Notice seeking comment on the rate of rejection for common carrier applications to license spectrum in the 11 GHz, 18 GHz and 23 GHz bands ("Microwave Bands"). The Public Notice is related to a provision in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 requiring the FCC and the Government Accounting Office to determine whether the Microwave Bands are being used efficiently. In particular, the FCC is required to determine the number of applications submitted by common carriers that are not successfully coordinated and filed with the Commission. The FCC seeks information from frequency coordinators and licensees regarding how frequently applications in the Microwave Bands were successfully coordinated from January 2010 through the present. Comments are due by July 20, 2012. Please contact Wes Wright (202.434.4296; wright@khlaw.com) with questions.

NTIA Moves Quickly on D Block

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration ("NTIA") is moving forward quickly to implement new statutory provisions regarding the 700 MHz D Block. Last week comments were filed regarding the grant program designed to assist state and local governments with network planning. Meanwhile, candidates for the board of FirstNet, the network's managing organization, are being reviewed and must be in place by August 22. NTIA is expected to seek information on state network requirements shortly thereafter. Electric utilities, oil and gas companies and other critical Infrastructure companies interested in sharing access to the 700 MHz band public safety network are encouraged to contact state and local public safety representatives as soon as possible to make sure they are included in the process. For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202-434-4178).

FCC Grants Narrowband Waivers for two Critical Infrastructure Entities

Last week, the Commission issued Orders approving the narrowbanding waiver requests filed by Avista Corporation, a Keller and Heckman client, and Puget Sound Energy Inc. Last year, the Commission issued a Public Notice indicating it would subject narrowbanding waiver requests to a high level of scrutiny and that any waiver request should demonstrate (i) that the licensee worked diligently and in good faith to narrowband its system expeditiously, (ii) that circumstances warrant a temporary extension of the deadline, and (iii) the amount of time for which a waiver is requested is no more than is reasonably necessary to complete the narrowbanding process. Avista has until September 30, 2014 to comply with the narrowbanding deadline. Puget Sound must comply with the narrowbanding mandate by October 31, 2013. Please contact Doug Jarrett (202.434.4180; jarrett@khlaw.com) with questions.

Motorola Supports 700 MHz Public Safety Waivers

Last week, Motorola Solutions met with Commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Agit Pai to urge the FCC not to revoke waivers previously granted to allow public safety entities to buildout 700 MHz networks. The meeting was in response to a recent Public Notice asking whether the agency should issue a stay to halt deployment by the public safety waiver recipients in order to avoid additional costs being incurred by these public safety entities. Please contact Wes Wright (202.434.4296; wright@khlaw.com) with questions.

Corporate Counsel Corner: Wireless and Wireline Services Agreements

For new Wireless and Wireline services agreements, counsel should always review the Master Agreement and major schedules. In a series of entries in our Blog, we set out a roadmap for these reviews. The first entry—Overview—highlights the structure and basic components of telecommunications services agreements. The second—Revenue Assurance—focuses on the carriers' interest and mechanisms for locking-in projected revenues. The third entry—Risk Mitigation—looks at damage caps, termination rights and indemnity obligations. For additional information, please contact Doug Jarrett at 202.434.4180; Jarrett@khlaw.com

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