Telecom Business Alert -- Part 90 Waiver, Rural Broadband, 3.5 GHz -- Vol. XI Issue 12

Date: Mar 24, 2014

4RF Limited Receives Part 90 Waiver

On March 19, the FCC granted Keller and Heckman client 4RF Limited’s waiver to allow use of telemetry radios with G1D and D1D emissions designators with its Aprisa SR+ equipment.  Specifically, the FCC explained that Section 90.207(i) permits G1D and G2D emissions and granted the waiver to allow Aprisa SR+ equipment to utilize D1D emissions.  4RF argued the waiver will facilitate critical infrastructure companies’ migration to IP-enabled technologies.  For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (Kunkle@khlaw.com; 202-434-4178).

Broadband Deployment In Rural Areas

Under Chairman Tom Wheeler, the FCC is taking proactive steps to support broadband deployment in rural areas, including the proposed use of USF funds for rural broadband experiments. In response, over 1,000 expressions of interest, including many from rural electric co-ops, were submitted to the FCC earlier this month.  On March 19, the FCC held a workshop to secure additional input on rural broadband challenges.  Perhaps, most importantly, the FCC released a Public Notice seeking comment on how it might refocus $2B in E-Rate funds to support high-capacity broadband deployment in rural areas.  Comments on the Public Notice are due April 7, and reply comments by April 21.  Further action by the FCC on the E-Rate program is expected later this year.  For more information, please contact Doug Jarrett (Jarrett@khlaw.com; 202-434-4180). 

Access To 3.5 GHz

On March 13, representatives from AT&T, Verizon, and Google Inc., met with FCC staff to discuss the FCC’s 3.5 GHz spectrum sharing proposal, expressing their support for the proposal and advocating broader eligibility in the Priority Access tier.  The current plan reserves the Priority Access tier for utilities, hospitals, and public safety entities.  One FCC staff member recently indicated the FCC hopes to move forward with its 3.5 GHz proposal in the near future. 

Upcoming Tower Workshop at FCC

Last Thursday the FCC announced it would hold a two day workshop to discuss the increasingly challenging approval processes for constructing wireless structures.  The first day, scheduled for May 19, will focus on the environmental notification process for Antenna Structure Registrations, and compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the National Historic Preservation Act Section 106.  On May 20, the FCC will focus on the Positive Train Control infrastructure deployment review process with emphasis on the Section 106 process. 

Another Tower Fine

The FCC issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture to Liberty Cablevision of Puerto Rico, Inc. for failing to comply with the tower lighting rules.  A $10,000 fine was proposed for failure to employ the required lighting on its structure and failure to monitor the lights.  The FCC’s rules require tower owners use the appropriate lighting system and to observe the tower lighting once every 24 hours or alternatively install or maintain an alarm system to warn of lighting failures.  

Upcoming K&H Webinar - “Know Your Tower ABCs”

With the increased focus on communications towers, Keller and Heckman LLP attorneys will hold a complimentary one-hour roundtable on April 17, 2014 (“Know Your Tower ABCs:  FAA, ASR, NEPA, FCC, SHPO, TCNS, OSHA”) to discuss the many regulatory obligations associated with construction, operation, and maintenance of antenna towers.  In addition to a multitude of FCC, FAA, and EPA requirements, the webinar will consider OSHA’s recent focus on employers who build, own, and maintain communications towers.  Webinar participants are encouraged to submit requests for topics to be discussed during the one-hour session.  To sign up or submit topic requests, please click here.

Doug Jarrett to Moderate Panel on M2M 

Doug Jarrett will moderate a panel on "Use of Mobile Technologies and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Communications in Cloud or Other Contexts” at the Navigating Risk in Technology Transactions Conference being held on March 27-28 in Atlanta, GA. For more information, click here.

OHSA 30/30 Webinar

Lawrence Halprin and Manesh Rath, partners in Keller and Heckman LLP's Workplace Safety Practice Group, will be presenting this month’s OSHA 30/30 Webinar on Wednesday March 26th from 1:00PM – 1:30PM EDT.  This webinar will focus on OSHA’s Interpretation of the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) Revisions to the Hazard Communication Standard.  To learn more and to register for this webinar, please click 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.  Please follow us on twitter at @KHtelecom.