Telecom Business Alert – Progeny's Proposal, Field Office Closures, Drones, FirstNet, Incentive Auction, TCPA, Vol XII, Issue 29

Date: Jul 20, 2015

FCC Seeks Comment on Progeny Extension

Last week, the FCC released a Public Notice requesting comment on Progeny LMS’s request for waiver and extension of time that sought to extend the construction deadline for its M-LMS network.  The FCC previously granted Progeny a waiver to operate its location monitoring service at increased power levels despite concerns voiced by many critical infrastructure groups that Progeny’s operations would interfere with Part 15 systems in the 902-928 MHz band, which overlaps the M-LMS allocation.  As a condition to that waiver, the FCC required Progeny to submit interference reports to the agency.  The reporting obligation expired at the end of 2014, which this Public Notice indicates occurred before a large portion of Progeny’s network was constructed.  Comments are due August 3, and Replies must be filed by August 13.  For additional information, please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).

FCC Closes Field Offices

Last week, the FCC announced it is closing 11 Field Offices, including offices in Houston, San Diego, Philadelphia, and Tampa.  The agency plans to deploy teams from nearby remaining Field Offices to respond to interference complaints and other concerns in regions that will no longer have a local Field Agent presence.  Within the next several weeks, the FCC will establish procedures for industry complainants to escalate interference complaints to the appropriate office.  For additional information, please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239).

NTIA Sets Drone Meetings

In a blog post last week, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced a series of multistakeholder meetings to discuss developing best practices for the commercial and private use of unmanned aircraft systems.  The first meeting will be held in Washington on August 3.  The discussions will focus on ideas submitted by commenters earlier this year in response to the agency’s request for information about the most pressing UAS issues.  NTIA hopes to craft best practices on UAS-related privacy, transparency, and accountability issues.  Additional meetings will be held in September, October, and November.  For additional information, please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).

FirstNet Seeks Comments

Comments are due July 27 in response to FirstNet’s Special Notice and its draft Request For Proposal. The draft RFP proposes two approaches for construction and maintenance of the network. Category One encompasses a single nationwide approach whereby an offeror will be responsible for all functions needed to deploy and operate the network. Category Two seeks offers for construction of one or more State Radio Access Networks that will be integrated into the nationwide core network.  Following review of the responses, FirstNet intends to release a final RFP(s) for deployment of the network by the end of the year. Under either approach there may be partnering opportunities for entities with infrastructure that can be incorporated into the network.  For additional information, please contact Al Catalano (catalano@khlaw.com; 202.434.4207).

FCC Delays Incentive Auction Vote

On the eve of the FCC’s Open Meeting last week, the Commission removed two items related to its incentive auction of broadcast spectrum, shortly after Chairman Wheeler received a letter from Congressmen Fred Upton (R- MI) and Greg Walden (R-OR) urging him to postpone the FCC’s consideration of the two related action items.  The deferred matters include the initial target date for clearing TV broadcast licensees from the 600 MHz band, bidder qualification standards for the incentive auction, limitations on mobile spectrum holdings, and auction procedures.  The agency is expected to vote on the items in early August. The FCC noted the brief delay in adoption of the two items should not affect its plans to conduct    the auction in early 2016.  For additional information, please contact Doug Jarrett (jarrett@khlaw.com; 202.434.4180).

TCPA Challenges Filed

Since the FCC released its Declaratory Ruling and Order on July 10 clarifying aspects of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) (Vol. XII, Issue 28), several Petitions for Review have been filed with federal courts of appeals, and more challenges are expected.  The Order, among other things, adopts a “one call” requirement for “robocalls” to numbers that have been reassigned and a right for consumers to opt-out of “robocalls” at any time and in any reasonable way, and clarifies the definition of an “automatic telephone dialing system” for purposes of the TCPA and FCC rules.  In addition, the Order allows carriers to offer robocall-blocking technologies. For additional information, please contact Tracy Marshall (marshall@khlaw.com; 202.434.4234).

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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.