Telecom Business Alert – KH Honored, TCPA, 800 MHz Interstitial, FirstNet, and more, Vol XII Issue 22

Date: Jun 01, 2015


Keller and Heckman Telecommunications Group Honored

Corporate LiveWire has selected Keller and Heckman’s Telecommunication’s Practice Group as Law Firm of the Year – Washington, DC in its annual Global Awards. The 2015 Global Awards recognizes firms who have demonstrated excellence within the selected practice area.  Corporate LiveWire carefully researches the firms and selects only one firm per region which stands-out as consistently showing best practices in every aspect of their work.  More information is available on the firm’s website.


FCC to Address TCPA Petitions


Last week, the FCC released a Fact Sheet outlining a proposal from Chairman Wheeler to “close loopholes” in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and “crack down” on robocalls and texts and telemarketing calls.  Among other things, the TCPA prohibits certain autodialed or artificial/prerecorded voice calls and texts unless made for “emergency purposes” or with “prior express consent,” and likely addresses customer communication practices of many utilities.  The Chairman has proposed to address more than two dozen petitions seeking clarification on issues such as calls and texts to numbers that have been reassigned and exceptions to the prior consent requirement.  Whether and to what extent the Commission will provide clarity on the issues raised in the TCPA petitions is unclear, but the Commission has indicated that the declaratory rulings will be voted on as a single omnibus item at its Open Meeting on June 18th and, if approved, will take effect immediately.  For additional information please contact Tracy Marshall (marshall@khlaw.com; 202.434.4234).


800 MHz Interstitial

Six parties filed reply comments in response to the FCC’s proposal to create full power, 12.5 kHz channels offset between currently allocated 25 kHz channels in the 809-817/854-862 MHz band.  Most of the comments and reply comments in this proceeding supported the FCC’s proposal as a way to provide additional spectrum in the 800 MHz band to critical infrastructure entities assuming certain conditions were met, though the Utilities Telecom Council urged the FCC to refrain from adopting the proposal because of interference concerns.  In its reply comments, Keller and Heckman’s client the American Petroleum Institute noted that 800 MHz business industrial licensees have waited patiently through rebanding and are increasingly in need of spectrum resources to expand system capacity and deploy new facilities.  API urged the Commission to provide additional 800 MHz channels while also ensuring that current operations in the 800 MHz band are adequately protected.  Please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178) with questions.


FirstNet Meetings and Spectrum Sharing Opportunities

Later this week, FirstNet is scheduled to hold meetings in San Diego in conjunction with the Public Safety Communications Research Program on June 3-5.  Al Catalano and Wes Wright of Keller and Heckman will attend both the Conference and the FirstNet Board meeting.  For more information regarding spectrum sharing opportunities, please contact Mr. Catalano (Catalano@khlaw.com; 202-434-4207) or Mr. Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239).

Open Internet Order: Appellate Advocacy at Full Throttle


Last week, Keller and Heckman’s Beyond Telecom Law Blog entry focused on appeals of the Open Internet Order which have been consolidated in United States Telecom Assoc. v. FCC, No. 15-1063 (and consolidated cases). In light of the alleged adverse impact on their industries and companies, petitioners filed a Motion for Stay or Expedition on May 14, 2015 with the D.C. Circuit.  Click here to find out when these rules will take effect and what is anticipated next.

Migratory Bird Impact

Last week, the Fish and Wildlife Service published a Notice of Intent seeking comment on whether it should prepare an Environmental Impact Statement related to the impact of certain facilities and structures on migratory birds.  The Notice is the first step in what could be a long regulatory process if the agency ultimately decides to initiate a rulemaking proceeding.  The Notice seeks input on the scope of the Statement and what alternatives it should consider in lieu of regulations.  The Statement or formal regulations, if adopted, could impact communications towers, certain oil and gas assets, and electric transmission and distribution lines.  Comments are due July 27, 2015. 


Send Us Your Feedback


We welcome your feedback on topics of interest that you would like to see covered in our Telecom Business Alert. To make suggestions, please e-mail telecomalert@khlaw.com.


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.