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Telecom Business Alert - FirstNet RFP, TCPA, Vehicular Repeaters, Complimentary Spectrum Webinar, SuperLawyer - Vol. XIII, Issue 3

Date: Jan 19, 2016

FirstNet Issues RFP

Last week, FirstNet released its long-awaited Request for Proposal (RFP) to build a nationwide public safety broadband network (NPSBN). Although one nationwide bid will be selected, no one entity is capable of meeting all of FirstNet’s objectives. Nationwide bidders will need to form partnerships, including those with infrastructure owners in rural America.  FirstNet will hold a pre-proposal conference on March 10, 2016 in Reston, Virginia.  Pre-Registration is required for in-person attendance at the conference.  Questions on the RFP are due no later than February 12, 2016 but FirstNet is encouraging questions to be submitted sooner.  Capability statements are due March 17, 2016.  Proposals in response to the RFP are due April 29, 2016 and FirstNet anticipates making an award in the fourth quarter of 2016.  For additional information or assistance submitting questions, statements, or proposals to FirstNet, please contact Al Catalano (Catalano@khlaw.com; 202.434.4207) or Tim Doughty (doughty@khlaw.com; 202.434.4271).

FCC Addresses TCPA Liability of Text Broadcasters

Last week, the FCC released an Order denying a petition by Club Texting, Inc. for a declaratory ruling that text broadcasters who transmit text messages on behalf of others should be held to a different, lower standard under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).  Club Texting, which provides software to facilitate text messages, urged that, unlike their customers whose goods and services are promoted through text messages, text broadcasters should only be liable for texts sent in violation of the TCPA if they demonstrate a high degree of involvement in, or actual notice of, the unlawful activity and fail to take steps to prevent it.  In denying the petition, the FCC reiterated that the determination of liability for autodialed text messages is fact-based, and deferred to existing precedent for determining the liability of text broadcasters.  For more information on this or other TCPA matters, please contact Tracy Marshall (marshall@khlaw.com; 202.434.4234).

Vehicular Repeaters

Last week a final rule was published in the Federal Register implementing changes to Part 90 of the FCC’s rules to allow licensing and operation of vehicular repeater systems and other mobile repeaters on six offset channels in the 173 MHz band.  The rule change permits operations on the 11.25 kHz channels on a co-primary basis with adjacent land mobile operations, and the Commission removed certain restrictions on omni-directional antennas, fixed station power limits, and antenna heights for telemetry operations (Vol. XII, Issue 33).  The rule change will become effective on February 16, 2016.  For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).

Complimentary Spectrum Webinar

On Thursday, February 11, 2016, Keller and Heckman attorney, Greg Kunkle will host a complimentary webinar providing an update on spectrum at the FCC.  The webinar will cover FCC spectrum policy, the 800 and 900 MHz land mobile bands, the Broadcast Incentive Auction, new rules for fixed telemetry units in the 173 MHz band, and the impact of the longstanding MCLM hearing on the AMTS band.  For additional information, please contact Greg Kunkle (Kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178) 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.  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 © 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.