Skip to main content

Telecom Alert - D.C. Circuit Denies Stay of Wireless Infrastructure Order; Incumbent Satellite Earth Station Certification Due Date; $35,000 Drone Enforcement; $81 Million FirstNet Budget for 2019 - Vol. XV, Issue 34

D.C. Circuit Denies Stay of Wireless Infrastructure Order

Last week the D.C. Circuit denied several consolidated motions filed by the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma, the Seminole Tribe of Florida, the Crow Creek Tribe of South Dakota, the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska, and others seeking a stay of the Commission’s Wireless Infrastructure Order, allowing implementation of the Commission’s updated policies for reviewing small-cell node projects under the NHPA and NEPA (Vol. XV, Issue 30).  In a press release, Commissioner Carr stated that the decision is “good news for U.S. leadership on 5G” and that the FCC’s “commonsense reforms” to wireless siting rules are accelerating buildout of next-gen networks.  For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (; 202.434.4178). 

Incumbent Satellite Earth Station Certification Due Date

The FCC has established deadlines for Fixed Satellite Service earth station licensees to certify the accuracy of all information on their current earth station licenses and provide detailed information about existing operations.  Earlier this year the Commission sought comment on the feasibility of allowing commercial wireless services to use or share use of the 3.7-4.2 GHz spectrum band.  This earth station certification requirement is part of the FCC’s efforts to introduce additional fixed and mobile terrestrial broadband use in the band.  Certifications for earth station licensees are due by October 17, 2018.  For more information, please contact Wes Wright (; 202.434.4239).

FCC’s Enforcement Bureau Fines Drone Transmitter Company $35,000

The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau entered into a Consent Decree with Horizon Hobby LLC to resolve its investigation into whether the company advertised and sold noncompliant audio/visual transmitters intended for use with unmanned aircraft systems.  The Enforcement Bureau’s Order stated that noncompliant AV transmitters could operate in bands that are reserved for FAA Terminal Doppler Weather Radar, and must not be marketed or operated by anyone.  Horizon Hobby LLC agreed to pay a $35,000 civil penalty and implement a compliance plan to resolve the investigation.  The Commission also reminded drone users that those who rely on amateur frequencies to operate compliant AV transmitters must have an amateur license.  For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (; 202.434.4178).

FirstNet Board Approves $81 Million Budget for 2019

Last week the FirstNet Board approved an $81 million budget for operations in Fiscal Year 2019.  The budget will focus on the priority areas of public safety engagement and deployment of the nationwide public safety broadband network.  The Board also allotted $78 million for network reinvestment on behalf of public safety, observing that 2019 will be the first year that FirstNet will be funded by payments from AT&T.  

Send Us Your Feedback

We welcome your feedback on topics of interest that you would like to see covered in our Telecom Business Alert. To make suggestions, please e-mail

Keller and Heckman LLP's Telecom Business Alert is a complimentary weekly electronic update created by the Telecommunications Practice Group 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 © 2018.  All rights reserved.  Articles may be copied with attribution.  To sign up for our weekly alert, please send us an email at and provide us with your name and email.  Please follow us on Twitter at @KHtelecom.