Telecom Business Alert – KH Survey, 3.65 GHz, Blanket Earth Station License, Incentive Bidding, Open Internet Exemption, Vol XII, Issue 26

Date: Jun 29, 2015

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3.5 GHz Actions

Last week, the Commission released a Public Notice providing a schedule of follow-up actions for the 3550-3700 MHz band (3.5 GHz Band) established in the 3.5 GHz Order.  The Commission plans to release a Public Notice in the third quarter of 2015 seeking comments on protected contours for 3650-3700 MHz grandfathered licensees.  Also in the third or fourth quarter of 2015, the Commission anticipates releasing a Public Notice requesting proposals from parties that are interested in administering a spectrum access system for a 5-year term.  In 2016, the Commission will provide further information pertaining to the registration process for fixed satellite service earth stations and release an Auction Comment Public Notice for public input on the final auction procedures.  For additional information, please contact Greg Kunkle (Kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).

Blanket Earth Station License Application

Also last week, Higher Ground, LLC (“Higher Ground”) applied for a blanket earth station license to operate up to 50,000 mobile earth terminals (“METs”) in the C-band.  The METs will transmit signals to satellites in the 4 and 6 GHz bands for smart phone communications (e.g., text messaging and email).  Higher Ground seeks a waiver of the of the coordination requirements under the Part 25 rules, which require a frequency coordination analysis for earth stations transmitting in the frequency bands shared by terrestrial and space services.  Higher Ground argues frequency coordination is unnecessary because of its self-coordination network designed to prevent harmful interference to terrestrial point-to-point systems in the 5925-6425 MHz band.  For additional information, please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239).

Incentive Bidding for UHF TV Spectrum

The Commission plans to discuss a draft order pertaining to the proposed amendments to the Part 1 Competitive Bidding Rules in anticipation of its upcoming Open Meeting.  In April, the Commission sought public comment from interested parties on how the Commission can ensure that small businesses, rural phone companies and other “designated entities” can participate in spectrum-based services and suggestions on how it should  amend the competitive bidding rules that govern auction participation.  The Open Meeting is scheduled for July 16, 2015 at 10:30 a.m. at the FCC Headquarters in Washington, D.C.  Please contact Greg Kunkle (Kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178) with questions.

Open Internet Small Business Exemption

The Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau is seeking comment on the small business exemption to the enhanced transparency requirements adopted in the 2015 Open Internet Order, which requires Broadband Internet Access Service providers to publicly disclose certain information pertaining to their network management practices, performance, and service terms.  The Commission temporarily exempted small providers “with 100,000 or fewer broadband” connections, but the Bureau now seeks comment on whether the exemption should be made permanent.  Comments and Reply Comments are due 30 and 60 days, respectively, after publication in the Federal Register, which has not yet occurred.  For additional information, please contact Doug Jarrett (Jarrett@khlaw.com; 202.434.4180) with questions.

Keller and Heckman LLP's Telecom Business Alert is a complimentary weekly electronic update created by the Telecommunications and the Business Counseling and Transactional practice groups of Keller and Heckman LLP.  All articles, videos, and quotations are on topics of general interest and do not constitute legal advice for particularized facts.  Keller and Heckman LLP's Telecom Business Alert © 2015.  All rights reserved.  Articles may be copied with attribution.  To sign up for our weekly alert, please send us an email at telecomalert@khlaw.com and provide us with your name and email.  Please follow us on twitter at @KHtelecom.