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Telecom Business Alert -- Vol. X Issue 16

Date: Apr 15, 2013

FCC Actively Reviewing Progeny Proposal

Last week, the Part 15 Coalition met with Commission staff to voice concerns that Progeny's proposal would interfere with unlicensed devices that have been operating in the 900 MHz band for more than 20 years. The Coalition told the agency it should carefully consider the impact of Progeny's service on fellow users of the 900 MHz band before approving Progeny's request. Progeny also met with the Commission earlier this month to discuss what it describes as "strong letters of support urging the Commission to promptly authorize Progeny to make its service available to support public safety." Progeny has sought authority from the FCC to operate high-power 30 watt transmitters as part of its location monitoring system in the 902-928 MHz unlicensed band. Many entities and industry groups have argued that Progeny's proposed operations would cause unacceptably high levels of interference to existing low-powered users, including smart meters, alarm systems, SCADA radios, cordless phones and wireless headsets. For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).

FCC Paging Auction Deadline Upcoming

Earlier this month, the FCC released a Public Notice announcing the filing requirements and procedures for the upcoming paging band Auction 95 scheduled for July 16, 2013. The FCC plans to auction 5,905 paging licenses -- 4,902 licenses in the lower paging bands (unpaired spectrum in the 35, 43, 152, and 158 MHz bands and paired spectrum in the 152/157, 152/158, and 454/459 MHz bands) and 1,003 licenses in the upper paging bands (929 and 931 MHz). Parties interested in participating in the Auction will need to submit a Short-Form application to the FCC between April 30 and May 9. Upfront payments are due by June 13. A list of licenses available in specific areas is available here. For more information on how to participate in Auction 95, please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4296).

Corporate Counsel Corner: FCC Enforcement Update

Last week, the FCC released a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture and Order (NAL) against a cellular service customer for operating multiple cellular phone jammers in Broussard, Louisiana. Signal jamming devices transmit powerful radio signals that overpower, jam, or interfere with authorized communications. Though marketed in the United States, many of these devices are illegal. The company allegedly operated signal jammers to prevent its employees from using their cell phones while at work. The NAL imposed a fine against the company for $126,000. For more information, please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4296).

FCC Extends 800 MHz Application Freeze Along US-Canada Border

Last week, the FCC released a Public Notice extending the freeze on filing new non-rebanding related 800 MHz applications along the U.S.-Canada border until October 15, 2013, for portions of Michigan, Ohio, Washington and Upstate New York. The FCC extended the freeze to preserve vacant channels for licensees re-tuning their systems in these areas according to the reconfigured band plan. The freeze applies only to applications for new facilities or modification applications that involve a change of frequency or expand a station's existing coverage area. For more information on the rebanding process, please see K&H's analysis of the Order and contact Tom Magee (magee@khlaw.com; 202.434.4128) or Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).

Keller and Heckman at Upcoming Industry Events

Doug Jarrett along with Rick Sigel of Silver Lining Telecom will present on "Proven Approaches for Acquiring Carrier-Provided Services" on Tuesday May 14, 2013, at UTC Telecom 2013 in Houston, Texas. Please visit Doug at the Keller and Heckman booth during Exhibit Hours on Wednesday (May 15) and Thursday (May 16).

Doug Jarrett and Greg Kunkle will be making a joint presentation, "USF Contribution Rules: Reform, Revolt or Implosion" on Wednesday may 22, 2013 at the TeleStrategies' Communications Taxation ‘13 Conference being held at the Peabody Orlando Hotel, Florida.

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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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