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Telecom Alert - WTB Denies TerreStar Waiver Request; FirstNet Update; FCC Imposes Fine for PLMR Interference; T-Band Migration Concerns - Vol. XIV, Issue 42

Date: Oct 16, 2017

WTB Denies TerreStar Waiver Request

The FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau issued an Order last week denying a waiver request filed by TerreStar Corporation (Vol. XIII, Issue 38), seeking to waive the April 23, 2017 substantial service deadline applicable to its 1.4 GHz band licenses.  TerreStar, which held a nationwide 1.4 GHz band allocation, sought an extension until April 23, 2020.  With the Commission’s decision, TerreStar’s 1.4 GHz licenses automatically expired for failing to meet the April 23, 2017 deadline.  For more information, please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239).

FirstNet Update

Last week, Alabama and Indiana announced that they have chosen to opt-in to FirstNet, bringing the total to 25 states opting-in to FirstNet.  Connecticut issued a Request for Proposal soliciting bidders to submit proposals to build and maintain the state’s alternative network.  The Governors from Oregon and Washington announced their plan to release a joint RFP to solicit bidders to build and maintain a network should they choose to opt-out of FirstNet.  The RFP is expected in the next two weeks. For more information, please contact Al Catalano (catalano@khlaw.com; 202.434.4207).

FCC Imposes $25,000 Fine for PLMR Interference

The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau issued a Forfeiture Order imposing a $25,000 fine against Public Safety Technologies, Inc. (PST) for violating rules for Private Land Mobile Radio (PLMR) systems.  PST allegedly caused harmful interference to other licensed stations operating on a shared frequency in the Los Angeles area.  The Bureau notes that PST acknowledged that it operated the station WQJM344 in a manner that violated the Commission’s rules and vowed to rectify their conduct moving forward.  Despite this commitment, The Bureau found PST continued to operate the station in a manner that caused interference to other PLMR licensees.  For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).

T-Band Migration Concerns

Members of the House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications Subcommittee on both sides of the aisle voiced concerns over the potential effects of the T-band (470-512 MHz) transition on Public Safety communications in major metropolitan areas.  The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 requires the FCC to auction public safety spectrum in the T-band by 2021 and relocate current users by 2023 (Vol. XIV, Issue 8).  Issues raised by lawmakers included a lack of available alternative spectrum and the ability of public safety entities to handle cybersecurity threats during a transition.  For more information, please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239).

Southeastern Electric Exchange Joint Use Committee Meeting

KH Partner Tom Magee will participate in a Legal Panel at the Southeastern Electric Exchange Joint Use Committee Meeting.  The meeting will be held in Charlottesville, VA on October 18, 2017.  For more information, please contact Tom Magee (magee@khlaw.com; 202.434.4128).

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