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Telecom Business Alert -- Vol. X Issue 28

Date: Jul 08, 2013

FirstNet Approves First Spectrum Lease Agreement

FirstNet’s Board of Directors has approved its first spectrum lease, with the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA-RICS) Authority. LA-RICS is one of the National Telecommunications & Information Administration’s (NTIA) public safety broadband network infrastructure grantees whose broadband stimulus grants had been suspended by NTIA in May 2012 due under the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). The FirstNet spectrum lease will last for five years or until a state makes a decision on a FirstNet deployment plan. The agreement between FirstNet and LA-RICS likely will result in the lifting of NTIA’s suspension of the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) and allow grantees to resume construction. For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).   

FCC Clarifies Use of TETRA Technology

In an Order on Reconsideration, the FCC clarified its amendment of Part 90 to permit the certification and use of Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) equipment. The Commission removed any ambiguity in the original Report and Order, by clarifying that the use of TETRA technology is permitted on all channels in the 809-824/854-869 MHz band, not just B/ILT channels. For more information, please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4296).

Public Safety Communication Council Seeks Petition for Reconsideration of Trunking Rules

The Public Safety Communications Council (PSCC) filed a Petition for Reconsideration requesting that the requirements for reciprocal contour calculations not apply to public safety applicants, and that the FCC define the interference protection to be afforded to mobile units associated with a base station. Section 90.187 of the Commission’s Rules currently does not allow the service contour for proposed centralized trunked stations to be overlapped by an incumbent licensee’s interference contour. This prevents entities from licensing low power stations within the interference contours of an incumbent, effectively blocking the incumbent from making modifications to its license in the future. PSCC stated that this practice does not occur on public safety channels, and low power stations within the interference contours of incumbent stations may fill specific communications needs.  PSCC also stated that because the FCC’s rules protect the service contours of base station channels, the service contour of base stations should be adopted as both the service and interference contours of the associated mobile stations.  

FCC Identifies Qualified Bidders for Upper and Lower Paging Band Auction

In a recent Public Notice, the FCC identified the 37 applicants qualified to bid in Auction 95 as well as the applicants who submitted short-form applications but did not qualify to bid. Bidding for the upcoming auction of 5,905 licenses for upper and lower paging bands spectrum is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, July 16, 2013. 4,902 lower paging bands licenses will be offered in 174 of the 175 Economic Areas (EA’s) and 1,003 upper paging bands licenses will be offered in each of the 51 Major Economic Areas (MEA’s).  For more information on Auction 95, please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).

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