Telecom Business Alert -- Vol. X Issue 24

Date: Jun 10, 2013

FCC Grants Progeny Waiver; Deals a Blow to Unlicensed Part 15 Band Users

Despite overwhelming opposition to Progeny's proposal to operate high-power 30-watt transmitters as part of its location monitoring system in the 902-928 MHz band, the FCC granted Progeny's waiver request on June 6 allowing it to commence commercial operations of its system. More than 60 associations and companies voiced their disapproval of Progeny's proposal in an industry letter, but the Commission deemed interference potential a minimal concern recognizing that many Part 15 devices will not be able to operate in close proximity to Progeny beacons if they lack the capability to tune to another frequency band. The FCC also noted that despite the risk of interference from Progeny, SCADA systems typically operating in the 902-928 MHz band can generally adapt to interference environments to function as intended. A copy of the Order can be found here. For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).

"It's surprising the FCC would jeopardize what is arguably one of its most successful bands, particularly when faced with such widespread opposition".
-Greg Kunkle

800 MHz Relocation Plan Transition Period to be Effective August 23

On June 11, the 800 MHz Transition Administrator (TA) will present a webinar on the relocation for 800 MHz licensees (806-824/851-869 MHz) located along the U.S.-Mexico Border, effective August 23, 2013. Border area licensees that intend to negotiate a Planning Funding Agreement with Sprint Nextel must submit a Request for Planning Funding (RFPF) to Sprint Nextel prior to June 24, the effective date of the FCC's Fifth Report and Order (released on April 1, 2013). Stage 1 licensees will likely receive their frequency replacement frequencies first. For more information, please contact Tom Magee (magee@khlaw.com; 202.434.4128) or Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).

FCC Releases NOI on Fixed Satellite Service

Last week, the FCC adopted a Notice of Inquiry ("NOI") requesting comments on the warehousing of orbital slots by satellite operators. The FCC also will look at the possibility of vertical foreclosure (by satellite operators with regard to satellite space segment), impacting adversely the ability of satellite network operators to compete in the market for Fixed Satellite Services. The NOI's explanations of orbital slot warehousing and the FCC's renewal expectancy for satellite licenses indicate that various sectors of the satellite community will offer divergent views on the need for reform in the regulation of satellite space segment capacity. Comments likely will be due this summer. For additional information, please contact Douglas Jarrett (Jarrett@khlaw.com; 202.434.4180).

RF Hazard Final Rule Published in Federal Register

The FCC's Final Rule clarifying the guidelines for human exposure to RF electromagnetic fields was published in the Federal Register on June 4. The Report and Order discusses potential exposure levels as well as post-evaluation procedures to ensure exposure limits are not exceeded. The Final Rule will become effective on August 5, 2013. For more information, please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4296).

NTIA Seeks Nominations for FirstNet Board

In the June 3 Federal Register Notices, The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) published a notice on behalf of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) seeking nominations to fill four vacancies on the FirstNet Board. The FirstNet Board is currently composed of 15 voting members and is responsible for ensuring standards for use and access to the nationwide public safety broadband network (PSBN). Nominees will be screened by NTIA and selections will be made by the Secretary of Commerce with input from the FirstNet Board. Expressions of interest must be postmarked or electronically transmitted to FirstNet on or before June 14, 2013. For more information, please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4296).

Register Today –Hot Topics in HR Privacy and Data Security

Keller and Heckman LLP is a member of Mackrell International, a global law firm referral network (www.mackrell.net). From 1 pm – 2 pm EST on June 11, 2013, Keller and Heckman attorneys Sheila Millar and Tracy Marshall will be joined by attorneys from Mackrell member firms Akerman (Florida), Bergman Dacey Goldsmith (Los Angeles), and Nexsen Pruet (Carolinas) in presenting a complimentary webinar on key privacy and data security issues. 


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