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Telecom Alert:Court Upholds USF Constitutionality; 6 GHz Band Waiver PN; 4.9 GHz Band Pleading Cycle Extended; Upcoming USF Deadlines [Vol. XX, Issue 13]

Court Upholds USF Contribution Mechanism

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a decision upholding the constitutionality of the Universal Service Fund (“USF”).  In upholding the FCC’s authority under the USF, the court noted that Congress adequately provided the FCC with “intelligible principles” to guide the Commission’s administration of the USF.  The Court also held that the FCC did not improperly delegate administration of USF programs to the Universal Service Administration Company (“USAC”).  For more information, please contact Eric Gotting (; 202.434.4269) or Jim Baller (; 202.434.4175).  

Comment Sought on 6 GHz Band Waiver

Last week, the FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology released a Public Notice seeking comment on Wi-Fi Alliance’s request to waive Section 15.407(1)(2) of the Commission’s rules, which governs the predictive propagation models that an automated frequency coordination (“AFC”) system must employ in the 6 GHz band.  When the FCC approved AFC systems for the band, the Commission recognized that building entry loss (“BEL”) could be used to determine permitted power levels for 6 GHz standard-power devices, but never indicated whether it would permit AFC systems to account for BEL in their calculations.  Wi-Fi Alliance seeks a waiver of the Commission’s rules to incorporate BEL attenuation losses when assessing allowable channel availability and power constraints for composite devices that are authorized to operate in both LPI and standard power mode.  Comments are due April 5, 2023, and Reply Comments are due April 20, 2023.  For more information, please contact Wes Wright (; 202.434.4239) or Tim Doughty (; 202.434.4271). 

4.9 GHz Band Pleading Cycle Extended

The FCC’s Public Safety & Homeland Security Bureau issued an Order last week extending the pleading cycle for comments and reply comments on the Commission’s questions related to the role of the band manager for the 4.9 GHz band (Vol. XX, Issue 10).   The FCC adopted rules in January establishing a framework for overseeing the 4.9 GHz band, and seeks comments on the responsibilities of the band manager.  Seven parties jointly requested a sixty-day extension of the comment deadline to allow interested parties sufficient time to develop input.  Although the extension request was opposed by the Public Safety Spectrum Alliance, the Commission granted a 14-day extension, with Comments and Reply Comments now due by April 13 and May 15, respectively.  For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (; 202.434.4178) or Wes Wright (; 202.434.4239).   

Upcoming USF Deadlines

Service providers required to contribute to the Universal Service Fund (“USF”) must complete and file their annual report on revenue billed (Form 499-A) by April 3, 2023.  This information pertains to a company’s actual revenue billed during the prior calendar year.  Providers must also file their quarterly report (Form 499-Q) for the first and third quarter of 2023 by May 1, 2023.  This information reports revenues from the previous quarter and forecasts revenues for the upcoming quarter.  For more information, please contact Casey Lide (; 202.434.4186).  

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