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Telecom Business Alert – 900 MHz, Broadband Preemption, 3.5 GHz, Pole Attachments, Vol XII, Issue 39

Date: Sep 28, 2015

900 MHz Petition

Last week, the Telecommunications Subcommittee of the American Petroleum Institute (a Keller and Heckman client) filed Comments opposing a Petition for Rulemaking filed earlier this year by M2M Spectrum Networks. M2M asks for authority to use 900 MHz business/industrial/land transportation channels to provide for-profit service to entities eligible to use those frequencies. API opposed the Petition because of the industry’s reliance on 900 MHz systems to support critical operational, security, maintenance and safety-related functions. Reply comments must be filed by October 6. The Utilities Telecom Council, another critical infrastructure industry association, also filed comments opposing the Petition. 

Broadband Preemption

The State of Tennessee filed a Brief with the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals last week in response to an Order issued by the Commission earlier this year. (Vol. XII, Issue 9). The Order granted petitions to preempt state laws in Tennessee and North Carolina that prevented municipal broadband providers Electric Power Board (EBP) in Chattanooga, Tennessee and the City of Wilson, North Carolina from expanding their broadband networks and service beyond their authorized service areas. In its Brief, the State of Tennessee argued that the FCC exceeded its authority and encroached upon the state’s right to regulate municipalities within its borders. For additional information, please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239).

3.5 GHz Petitions

The FCC issued a Public Notice last week seeking comment on several Petitions for Reconsideration filed in response to the FCC’s Report and Order governing the 3.5 GHz band.  (Vol XII, Issue 17). The Report and Order, released in April but not published in the Federal Register until June 23, established the Citizens Broadband Radio Service in 150 MHz of contiguous spectrum at 3.550-3.700 GHz. The Petitions urged the Commission to reconsider various portions of its new rules.  For instance, CTIA – The Wireless Association asked the Commission to extend the license terms for Priority Access Licenses to five years and increase power limits to allow for additional indoor and outdoor coverage. For additional information, please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).

FCC Pole Attachment Order Circulating

A pole attachment rates order reportedly was circulating among the FCC Commissioners’ offices last week. Earlier this year, the Wireline Competition Bureau sought to “refresh” the record on petitions seeking reconsideration of the April 2011 Pole Attachment order’s decision to lower the telecom attachment rate to the level of the cable rate. For additional information please contact Tom Magee (magee@khlaw.com; 202-434-4128)or see his article in the 3rd Quarter 2015 issue of the UTC Journal (“Pole Attachments: Here We Go Again”).

KH Attorneys at Industry Events

Tom Magee will be speaking on pole attachment matters at the Midwest Energy Association Legal, Regulatory and Government Affairs Conference in Breckenridge, Colorado on September 30, and at the Oregon Joint Use Association meeting in Pacific City, Oregon on October 2. Doug Jarrett will be speaking on spectrum options for utilities at the UTC Region 4 Conference in Traverse City, Michigan on October 1.

Complimentary KH Webinar on Leveraging Utility Infrastructure

Keller and Heckman attorneys Doug Jarrett, Tom Magee, and Mike Fitch will host a complimentary webinar on October 22 for electric distribution and generation companies. The webinar will provide insights into opportunities for companies looking to leverage utility infrastructure to meet the demand of wireless carriers for more sites and related infrastructure as the demand for mobile data services continues to accelerate. For additional information, please contact Mr. Jarrett (202.434.4180; Jarrett@khlaw.com) or register here.

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Keller and Heckman LLP's Telecom Business Alert is a complimentary weekly electronic update created by the Telecommunications and the Business Counseling and Transactional practice groups of Keller and Heckman LLP.  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.