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Telecom Business Alert -- PLMR Extension, Special Access, and Booster Waiver Request -- Vol X Issue 53

Date: Dec 30, 2013

Private Land Mobile Radio Conditional Authority

In light of the application backlog created by requests for narrowbanding, the FCC granted a petition by the Enterprise Wireless Alliance allowing all Private Land Mobile Radio Service (PLMRS) licensees to operate for up to six months under conditional authority while their applications remain pending before the Commission.  This waiver applies to licenses in the 470-512 MHz, 806-824/851-866 MHz, and 896-901/935-940 MHz spectrum bands.  To be eligible for expanded conditional authority, applications must be filed on or before June 30, 2014, and must meet all of the requirements of Section 90.159(b) of the rules. 

Special Access Data Request and Part 101 Licensees

On December 19, the FCC issued a Public Notice requesting comment on a Petition for Reconsideration submitted by a group of private microwave licensees asking the FCC to reconsider the definition of “Purchasers of Dedicated Service” in the Special Access proceeding.  The microwave licensees argue that the definition is too broad because it encompasses non-common carriers such as themselves.  The PFR requests that non-common carrier Part 101 Fixed Licensees not be required to respond to the Special Access data request.  The information elicited by the data request could be a substantial burden for non-common carrier licensees.  Comments on the Petition for Reconsideration are due January 3, replies by January 13.  For more information, please contact Doug Jarrett (Jarrett@khlaw.com; 202-434-4180) for more information.

Request to Extend March 1, 2014 End Date for Marketing Noncompliant Consumer Boosters

Earlier this year, the Commission adopted new technical, operational, and registration rules for signal boosters used with commercial wireless service intended to be purchased and installed by consumers for their personal use.  On December 23, the FCC requested comment on ClearRF’s request for an extension of the March 1, 2014 end date for offering for sale consumer signal boosters that do not comply with the technical specifications adopted earlier this year.  ClearRF asks that this deadline be pushed back for one of its devices to no earlier than August 31, 2014, but preferably to December 31, 2014.  This extension will allow ClearRF to resolve a number of challenges that have slowed the booster certification process for this device.  Comments are due January 14, and replies by January 21.  In addition, Petitions for Reconsideration of the Signal Booster Order filed earlier this year by EWA and Verizon Wireless, among others, are also pending. 

Is VoIP a Telecom Attachment?

Acting on a petition filed by Ameren, the Wireline Competition Bureau is asking for comments on whether Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service qualifies as telecommunications for purposes of calculating annual pole attachment rental fees, which for many utilities can generate higher rates.  Comments in this proceeding are due January 21 and Reply Comments are due February 5.  For additional information, please contact Tom Magee (Magee@khlaw.com; 202-434-4128).

ENTELEC in Pipeline & Gas Journal

The December issue of Pipeline & Gas Journal includes an article by K&H, entitled “The Spectrum Disconnect at the FCC.” Keller and Heckman expresses concern regarding the FCC’s allocation of radio spectrum to critical infrastructure companies and discusses the lack of spectrum available to satisfy pressing communications requirements in the energy industry. A copy of the article is available 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 © 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.