Telecom Alert - Hurricane Harvey; Tribal Consultations; AeroMACS; AT&T Supports One-Touch Make-Ready; TV White Spaces and Unlicensed Use - Vol. XIV, Issue 35

Date: Aug 28, 2017

FCC Implements Emergency Procedures In Response to Hurricane Harvey

The FCC has issued releases regarding 24/7 Emergency Contact Information and emergency processes for Special Temporary Authority (STA) to provide emergency communications in areas affected by Hurricane Harvey.  The Commission is accepting emergency STA requests by all means possible, including telephone.  All requests should include technical parameters and a contact point.  For more information, please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239).

FCC Hosts Tribal Consultations on Rural Broadband Deployment

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai travelled to Arizona and Nevada last week to discuss bridging the digital divide with Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and Nevada Representative Mark Amodei (R-NV). While in Arizona, Chairman Pai also conducted a Tribal Consultation with Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye and other Native American leaders in the region. While the meetings were not open to the public nor the press, the FCC released a press release stating that the parties planned to focus on the NPRM and NOI titled Accelerating Broadband Deployment by Removing Barriers to Infrastructure Investment. In particular, the groups planned to deliberate over the proposed rules regarding the historic preservation and Tribal review process required to deploy wireless facilities. The meeting takes place after Tribal leaders filed comments in response to the NPRM and NOI, many of which disapproved of efforts to streamline the tribal review process.  The Tribes suggested it would be critical to remain a part of the cultural review process to assure the lands of their ancestors are properly protected and preserved regardless of the impediments to growth this may present. For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).

Comments filed on AeroMACS Petition for Rulemaking

In April, the WiMAX Forum filed a Petition for Rulemaking with the Commission to initiate the process for promulgating rules for the aeronautical mobile airport communication system (AeroMACS) (Vol. XIV, Issue 15).  The American Association of Airport Executives filed comments in favor of the WiMAX petition stating that they correctly identified a list of non-exhaustive eligible users, which include airports, airlines, airline navigation service providers and aeronautical communications network providers. While many comments support a swift adoption of rules, Aeronautical mobile telemetry (AMT) stakeholders have expressed concerns about interference, and believe a framework for addressing interference should be in place before the FCC adopts an NPRM. The Aerospace and Flight Test Radio Coordinating Council voiced serious concerns about the proposed rules and argued that more work is needed before the Commission can make an “informed decision.” For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).

AT&T Supports One-Touch Make-Ready

In ex parte meetings at the FCC, AT&T expressed support for one-touch make-ready to help facilitate access to distribution poles.  AT&T and Verizon now both support one-touch make-ready, increasing the chance the FCC might approve it.  For additional information, please contact Tom Magee (magee@khlaw.com; 202-434-4128) or Tim Doughty (doughty@khlaw.com; 202-434-4271).

TV White Spaces and Unlicensed Use

Parties have submitted filings to the FCC regarding the use of TV White Space channels for unlicensed devices. In particular, Microsoft along with the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance (DSA) filed comments citing a new Microsoft study that allegedly proves that preserving a single UHF white space would have virtually no effect on LPTV or translators. For this reason, they support the Commission making the spectrum available immediately. The LPTV Spectrum Rights Coalition submitted a filing in the same docket stating that Microsoft and fellow members of the DSA actually delayed the auction for over a year, which ultimately “depressed” the outcome of the auction. For this reason, LPTV suggests that DSA wait the outcome of the various auctions and associated spectrum relocation. For more information, please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239).

Send Us Your Feedback

We welcome your feedback on topics of interest that you would like to see covered in our Telecom Business Alert. To make suggestions, please e-mail telecomalert@khlaw.com.

Keller and Heckman LLP's Telecom Business Alert is a complimentary weekly electronic update created by the Telecommunications Practice Group 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.