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Telecom Business Alert -- 3.5 GHz, CAF Phase II, LMCC Petition -- Vol. XI Issue 17

Date: Apr 28, 2014

FCC Adopts 3.5 GHz FNPRM

During its April 23 Open Meeting, the FCC adopted a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“FNPRM”) in its 3.5 GHz band. The FNPRM proposes to create the Citizens Broadband Radio Service, a three-tiered sharing model to allow operations for consumer use, small cell deployment, fixed mobile broadband services, and other uses. The FNPRM also seeks comment on extending the Citizens Broadband Radio Service up to 3700 MHz. Comments will be due 40 days after publication in the Federal Register.  

LMCC Petition

On April 24, 2014, the FCC solicited comment on a Petition for Rulemaking by the Land mobile Communications Council (“LMCC”) regarding interim eligibility for the 800 MHz Expansion Band (860-861/815-816 MHz) and Guard Band (861-862/816-817 MHz). The LMCC Petition requests that the FCC provide a six-month window for incumbent 800 MHz licensees to acquire 800 MHz Expansion Band and Guard Band channels before making them available to new entrants. The FCC asked whether six months is an appropriate period, whether any limits should be imposed to preserve availability for new entrants, and whether the FCC should defer declaring rebanding is complete in any additional NPSPAC regions. Comments are due May 27, 2014, reply comments are due June 11, 2014. For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (Kunkle@khlaw.com; 202-434-4178).

Rules for USF Support to Price Cap ILLECs for Rural Broadband

At its latest meeting the FCC also adopted an item implementing Phase II of the Connect America Fund.  The Order establishes a cost model for funding high cost, rural areas served by the price cap ILECs and announces the goal of expending $9 billion over the next five years to extend broadband into rural areas.  Among the issues the FCC requests comment on is whether it should increase the minimum broadband speed to 10Mbps upstream for CAF Phase II supported projects.  For more information, please contact Doug Jarrett (Jarrett@khlaw.com; 202-434-4180).

Another Tower Fine

Following up on our recent Webinar “Know Your Tower ABC’s” (audio available HERE), on April 23, 2014, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau issued a forfeiture order and assessed a $4,200 penalty against Coastal Television Broadcasting Company LLC for  failure to file the required ownership information of a registered antenna structure.  Under the FCC’s rules, a tower owner must notify the FCC of a change in ownership. 

FCC Tentative Agenda

On April 24, 2014, the FCC released its tentative agenda for its Open Meeting on May 15.  During the Open Meeting the Commissioners will consider rules for the upcoming incentive auction, a change in the rules that will increase the amount of wireless broadband spectrum a company may hold, a proposal to address the Open Internet Order after the D.C. Circuit’s remand of the 2010 Order, and an expansion of the class of those who are eligible to hold a wireless microphone license.  

Greg Kunkle Appointed to LMCC Board of Directors

Greg Kunkle was appointed to the Land Mobile Communications Council’s Board of Directors for the 2014-2015 fiscal year.  Other Board members appointed are President Don Vasek of the Utilities Telecom Council, Vice President Ralph Haller of the Forestry Conservation Communications Association, Secretary/Treasurer Mark Crosby of the Enterprise Wireless Alliance, Doug Aiken of the International Municipal Signal Association, and Michele Farquhar of the  Association of American Railroads.  For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (Kunkle@khlaw.com; 202-434-4178).

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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.