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Telecom Business Alert -- Vol. IX Issue 34

Date: Aug 20, 2012

NTIA Announces FirstNet Board

The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 required that the 700 MHz D Block (758-763 MHz and 788-793 MHz) and Public Safety Spectrum be reallocated to FirstNet, an independent authority formed within NTIA to oversee the construction and operation of a nationwide Public Safety broadband network. Earlier today, NTIA announced the governing Board of FirstNet. Sam Ginn, a telecommunications executive, was appointed Chairman. Fourteen other individuals will serve as members of the Board. Keller and Heckman is pleased to note that Tim Bryan, CEO of the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative, a longstanding firm client representing rural electric cooperatives and independent telephone companies, has been appointed to the Board. 

Wireless Booster Proceeding

Last week, MetroPCS submitted a written ex parte letter to the Commission voicing concerns regarding proposed rules for consumer signal boosters submitted earlier this year by T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless and Wilson Electronics. MetroPCS argued that customers should not be permitted to operate a consumer signal booster on a licensee's exclusive spectrum without the licensee's express consent. The company also urged the Commission to recognize that allowing signal boosters to operate on licensed spectrum without the consent of the licensee conflicts with law, Commission policy and precedent and would not serve the public interest. MetroPCS largely agreed with a proposal by AT&T akin to blanket licensing for mobile handsets, under which licensee consent would be required before a signal booster may be operated on a licensee's network. Please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178) with questions.

Annual FCC Regulatory Fees due September 4th

Last month, the FCC announced that regulatory fees for the fiscal year 2012 are due by September 4, 2012. Licensees of certain facilities, such as Satellite Earth Stations, are required to make annual regulatory fee payments. For many licensed facilities, like microwave and land mobile systems, the regulatory fees are paid as part of an application fee charged at the time an application for new authority or application for renewal are submitted to the Commission. 

Keller and Heckman to Host Annual Chemical Control Law Seminar

Keller and Heckman attorneys and scientists will be hosting their annual Chemical Control Law Seminar on October 1st and 2nd at the Embassy Suites Hotel Convention Center in Washington, D.C. This two-day seminar is designed for regulatory and legal professionals involved with issues arising under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and similar international chemical control laws. Day one of the Seminar will focus on TSCA and Day two will focus on International Chemical Control Laws. 

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In an attempt to address in our weekly Telecom Business Alert the issues of most importance to the clients and friends of Keller and Heckman LLP, we invite you to submit suggestions on topics of interest to you. To make suggestions, please send an e-mail to TelecomAlert@khlaw.com.

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