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Telecom Business Alert -- Enforcement Action, Signal Boosters, and AWS-3

Date: Dec 02, 2013

FCC Enforcement Action

Last week, the FCC issued a $25,000 Notice of Apparent Liability to a Private Land Mobile licensee for continued operations after license expiration.  UNS Electric's station KNNR214 (conventional 800 MHz) was permitted to expire on May 1, 2011, due to a change in personnel and administrative oversight.  In November 2012, the company realized the expiration and submitted a request for STA to cover the operations (CTA is not available at 800 MHz, so the STA was required).  The STA sparked the enforcement action.  The Enforcement Bureau justified an "upward adjustment" of the $13,000 base forfeiture ($10,000 for operating without a license and $3,000 for failure to filed required form), because UNS' parent company is "a substantial enterprise" and "should expect the assessment of higher forfeitures."  

PCIA Files Letter on Signal Boosters

Last week, PCIA, via its HetNet Forum, filed a letter asking for clarity regarding the specific technical rules governing wireless signal booster operations in the 700 MHz public safety narrowband spectrum.  Earlier this year, the Commission worked on two different proceedings that have brought into question which set of technical rules applies to signal booster operations in the 700 MHz public safety narrowband.  PCIA, in support of an earlier filing by Axell Wireless, sent a letter to the FCC asking for clarification that signal boosters are governed by the overall signal booster rules and not by the technical rules for 700 MHz narrowband transmitters.  PCIA and Axell Wireless explained that when the FCC adopted the new signal booster rules, it preempted the general technical rules that were not signal booster specific.  If, however, the Commission does require the signal boosters to comply as 700 MHz public safety narrowband transmitters, PCIA and Axell Wireless requested that the Commission exempt Class B and Class A signal boosters from the rules.  According to PCIA, this will ensure that signal boosters operating in this band will continue to “remain an asset” for public safety operations.  

NTIA Support for DoD AWS-3 Proposal

Last week, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (“NTIA”), a division of the Department of Commerce responsible for oversight of spectrum controlled by the U.S. government, sent a letter to the FCC expressing its support for the Department of Defense’s proposals in the FCC’s AWS-3 rulemaking.  These proposals would move incumbent government users away from 1695-1710 MHz and 1755-1780 MHz, and allow commercial wireless carriers to access it.  Many commercial carriers have expressed interest in this spectrum, especially 1755-1780 MHz, and have asked the FCC to pair it with 2155-2180 MHz.  In exchange for the move, the relocated systems would get access to spectrum in the 2025-2110 MHz band.  If these proposals are adopted by the FCC, the spectrum is expected to be auctioned next year.  

ENTELEC Cybersecurity Educational Webinar

On Friday, December 5, the Cybersecurity Subcommittee of ENTELEC’s Regulatory and Technology Committee will be holding a cybersecurity educational webinar for Members-only.  This webinar, hosted by Motty Anavi of RAD data communications, will focus on the cyber threat landscape.  For more information about ENTELEC, please click here.

Corporate Counsel Corner: “In-House Counsel Only” Webinar on CII Telecom Issues

While K&H telecom webinars usually are designed with the entire Critical Infrastructure community in mind,  Keller and Heckman LLP attorneys will host a complimentary “In-House Counsel Only” webinar on Friday, December 13, 2013, Noon-1:00  p.m.  Eastern time, focusing on key telecom issues of concern to in-house counsel . Topics will include the impact of new leadership at the FCC, wireless spectrum problems, potential FCC licensing challenges, developments in privacy and data security, pole attachments and services agreements.  One hour of CLE credits has been approved by the State Bar of Texas, and CLE credits may be obtained for other states. This is the latest in a series of K&H webinars addressing current events at the FCC of particular interest to oil and gas companies, electric utilities, railroads, and other CII companies.   

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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 © 2013.  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.