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Telecom Alert: Ohio AG Files Suit to Declare Google a Public Utility; 3.45 GHz Band Auction Procedures; 4.9 GHz Access for CII; $104K Penalty for Unauthorized Sale of Licenses [Vol. XVIII, Issue 24]

Ohio AG Files Suit to Declare Google a Public Utility

Last week, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed a lawsuit asking the court to declare Google a public utility and treat it as a common carrier required to provide competitors equal access to its online search infrastructure.  The lawsuit asserts two causes of action against Google: (1) a declaration that Google is a common carrier subject to proper government regulation; and (2) that Google must offer its sources and competitors rights equal to its own.  If the lawsuit is successful, Google would be placed under the jurisdiction of the Ohio Public Utilities Commission.  For more information, please contact Wes Wright (; 202.434.4239).

3.45 GHz Band Auction Procedures

The FCC issued a Public Notice last week establishing the application and bidding procedures for Auction 110, the auction of spectrum in the 3.45-3.55 GHz band (Vol. XVIII, Issue 23).  In the first phase of the auction, bidders will bid on generic blocks in each geographic area.  In the second phase, bidders will bid on frequency-specific license assignments. The Commission set a reserve price of approximately $14.7 billion, with bidding to start on October 5, 2021.  For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (; 202.434.4178).

EWA Wants 4.9 GHz Access for CII Entities

In an ex parte filing posted last week, the Enterprise Wireless Alliance (“EWA”) declared that entities classified as Critical Infrastructure Industry (“CII”) should be allowed access to the 4.9 GHz band on a primary, co-equal basis with public safety users. EWA argues that expanding eligibility for the 4.9 GHz band would help address the band’s underutilization and drive the development of cost-effective equipment.  It also asserts that recent cybersecurity incidents, including the Colonial Pipeline situation, have highlighted the vulnerability of commercial systems that can be accessed through the internet.  For more information, please contact Wes Wright (; 202.434.4239).

$104K Penalty for Unauthorized Sale of Wireless Licenses

The FCC and SUEZ North America Inc., SUEZ Water New York, Inc., and SUEZ Water New Jersey Inc. (together “SUEZ”) entered into a Consent Decree to resolve the Commission’s investigation into whether SUEZ engaged in the unauthorized transfer and assignment of wireless licenses in connection with its acquisition of United Water Resources Inc (“United Water”). SUEZ acquired United Water in July 2000, which held business radio and private microwave licenses, and now reports that a recent internal review failed to confirm it had obtained prior FCC approval for the transfer of these licenses.  In December 2002, SUEZ consummated five transfers of control, and in January 2019, it consummated one assignment of radio assets, without obtaining prior Commission approval. In December 2020, SUEZ self-reported the apparent unauthorized transfers to the FCC.  SUEZ agreed to implement a Compliance Plan and pay a $104,000 civil penalty.  For more information, please contact Tim Doughty (; 202.434.4271).