Telecom Alert - 2018 Predictions - Vol. XV, Issue 1

Date: Jan 02, 2018

“CAF Phase II and Mobility Fund Phase II auctions in 2018 may establish reverse auctions as the preferred vehicle for distributing all $4.5B in annual High Cost support going forward.” – Doug Jarrett, Partner

“New FCC and state regulations could significantly affect how electric utilities administer pole attachments and recover their costs.” – Tom Magee, Partner

“The FCC will attempt to find a consensus path forward for the 896-901/935-940 MHz band in response to Pacific DataVision’s proposal to realign the band for LTE service.  A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking could be released in mid-2018.” – Greg Kunkle, Partner

“There are several notable privacy and cybersecurity cases to watch this year that focus on issues such as Article III standing in privacy and data security litigation, the FTC’s enforcement authority, and a potential rollback of some Telephone Consumer Protection Act rules established by the FCC under former Chairman Wheeler.” – Tracy Marshall, Partner

“The Next Generation 911 transition will continue.  It will be aided by federal and state funding opportunities.  But new and existing 911 service providers should be aware of additional regulatory compliance obligations imposed by the FCC and even some state Commissions.” – Wes Wright, Partner

“Expect some FCC decisions in its long-pending proceeding regarding radio frequency exposure limits and mitigation. Among the matters under consideration are whether to change existing limits and whether to expand warning signage requirements. I expect FCC changes to signage requirements in 2018, but that whether or not to change the limits themselves will take the FCC additional time to decide.” – Mike Fitch, Senior Counsel

 “With up to $6.5 Billion in federal funds from FirstNet to enhance its existing commercial network for public safety use, AT&T will be a winner. Despite the intent of the FirstNet legislation, rural America will continue to lack infrastructure needed for public safety use in many areas.” – Al Catalano, Counsel

“In the first half of the year the FCC should release finalized auction rules governing how Priority Access Licenses (PALs) will be assigned in the 3.5 GHz CBRS band.  I expect license terms and geographic area sizes will be increased for PALs.” – Tim Doughty, Associate

“The Administration’s infrastructure plan will focus on facilitating broadband deployment through removing regulatory barriers.  Any new funding sources for rural broadband will be included in a separate legislative package and will be administered by the USDA, rather than the FCC.” – Kathleen Slattery, Associate 

“Frequency availability for Multiple Address Systems (MAS) in the west Texas region is steadily declining. Licensees proposing to operate in this area can expect to enter into short space agreements with nearby users.” – Kemi Fakunle, Telecommunication Licensing Specialist