Telecom Business Alert – 2016 Predictions , Vol XIII, Issue 1

Date: Jan 04, 2016

“Hopefully after 5 years the FCC’s hearing proceeding regarding MCLM’s AMTS licenses will be resolved this year, the long-pending assignment applications by electric utilities and oil and gas companies will be granted, and a large chunk of spectrum in the217-219 MHz band will become available for use.  At the same time, the FCC likely will reach some preliminary conclusions on PDV’s proposal to restructure the 900 MHz band.”

“The pending Court review of the FCC's Open Internet decision may result in significant changes especially regarding mobile Internet matters.” - Doug Jarrett, Partner

“We can all hope Congress thinks better of expanding the FCC’s already burdensome pole attachment regulatory authority.” - Tom Magee, Partner

“LightSquared will return to the FCC with a new proposal to use spectrum near the GPS band for a terrestrial wireless network.  Expect a stronger push this time around as LightSquared has spent the last few years making deals with many of the companies that opposed its previous plan.” - Greg Kunkle, Partner

“The appeal of the FCC’s 2015 TCPA “robocall” Declaratory Ruling and Order (currently pending before the D.C. Circuit) will be one to watch this year.  TCPA compliance remains an important issue for all businesses that use text messaging and other automated technologies to communicate with consumers.” - Tracy Marshall, Partner

“I expect the FCC to enact more stringent 911 reliability rules in 2016.  In October 2015, the FCC required Covered 911 Service Providers to certify they had made substantial progress towards complying with circuit auditing, backup power, and network monitoring obligations.  These providers will have to certify full compliance with these rules in October 2016… if the Commission doesn’t change the rules first.” - Wes Wright, Partner

“Expect much more of the aggressive, 3-2 party voting decision-making at the FCC through the final year of the administration of President Obama.” - Mike Fitch, Senior Counsel

“Release of the FirstNet RFP will create partnering opportunities for critical infrastructure entities throughout the country and especially in rural America.” - Al Catalano, Counsel

“The 2015 field office closures will result in fewer citations for technical and procedural violations in 2016.  Expect the Enforcement Bureau to continue to focus on consumer-related and egregious conduct resulting in ‘headline-grabbing’ penalties.” 

“Assignment and Lease applications will likely be more cumbersome in the first part of 2016 due to the FCC’s implementation of new mapping software in its database.  Licensees should factor in extra time when planning acquisitions involving geographic partitions and spectrum disaggregation.” - Tim Doughty, Associate

“Despite the FCC’s best efforts to update its website, we will likely see more multi-day ULS shut-downs with minimal improvements to the everyday user in 2016.” 

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