Telecom Alert—RDOF Auction; Mozilla Remand Order Affects Pole Attachments; Radar Station Interference Fine; Hurricane Zeta Outages; November Open Meeting—Vol. XVII, Issue 44

Date: Nov 02, 2020

RDOF Auction Begins

Bidding in Auction 904 began last Thursday (Vol. XVII, Issue 42) and continues this week.  Up to $16 billion is being made available to support fixed broadband networks in unserved rural areas throughout the United States.  Auction 904 prioritizes bids based on data rates and latency, and is being conducted as a multi-round, descending clock auction format.  Winning bids will begin to be assigned during the “clearing round” which occurs when the aggregate cost (the total of all weighted bids) equals or is less than $16.0 Billion. The auction will end when no bids are placed for any eligible area.  For more information, please contact Doug Jarrett (jarrett@khlaw.com; 202.434.4180) or Tim Doughty (doughty@khlaw.com; 202.434.4271).

Mozilla Remand Order Affects Pole Attachments

The FCC last week released its Order on Remand of the D.C. Circuit’s Mozilla v. FCC ruling from October 2019, which had asked the FCC, among other things, to better explain the effect on pole attachment regulation of the Commission’s decision to reclassify broadband Internet access service from a “telecommunications” service to an “information” service.  In its Order on Remand, the Commission acknowledged that its reclassification eliminates FCC regulation over attachments by Internet-only providers like Google Fiber and WISPs, but determined that the benefits of deregulating the Internet outweighed any loss of pole attachment rights for such entities.  For additional information, contact Tom Magee (magee@khlaw.com; 202-434-4128) or Tim Doughty (doughty@khlaw.com; 202-434-4271).

$25,000 Fine for Radar Station Interference

Last Monday, the Enforcement Bureau issued a Forfeiture Order imposing a $20,000 fine against WiFi Services Caribbean, Inc. (WiFi Services) for allegedly operating two Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (U-NII) devices in an unauthorized manner, and causing interference to an FAA terminal doppler weather radar station in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Bureau agents observed that WiFi Services had configured its two Ubiquiti devices in a manner that disabled Dynamic Frequency Selection, meaning they were not configured to automatically detect the presence of the FAA’s nearby terminal doppler weather station or configured to operate on an alternate channel to avoid interference.  For more information, please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239).

Hurricane Zeta Cell Site Outages

The Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau issued a Public Notice on Saturday providing a status report for areas affected by Hurricane Zeta.  More than 10% of affected cell sites in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi were out as of noon Saturday, while no public safety answering points (PSAPs) were affected.  Cable and wireline companies reported 149,863 subscribers out of service in the affected areas, which include the loss of telephone, television, and/or Internet services.  For more information, please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239).

November Open Meeting Tentative Agenda

The FCC issued a News Release last week announcing the tentative agenda for its November Open Meeting.  The Commission will consider a First Report and Order, Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, and Order of Proposed Modification that would adopt rules to repurposed 45 megahertz of spectrum in the 5.850-5.895 GHz band for unlicensed operation, retain 30 megahertz for the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) service, and require the transition of the ITS radio service standard from Dedicated Short-Range Communications technology to Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything technology.  It will also consider a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on a new allocation in the 17 GHz band for Fixed-Satellite Service space-to-Earth downlinks, and a Report and Order that would streamline its satellite licensing rules, among other items.  For more information, please contact Tim Doughty (doughty@khlaw.com; 202.434.4271).

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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 © 2020.  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.