Telecom Business Alert – 3.65 GHz rules, FirstNet, Cybersecurity Legislation, OSHA, and PSAPs, Vol XII Issue 17
New 3.65 GHz Band Rules
Last week, the FCC released its Report and Order and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking establishing the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS). The CBRS includes 150 MHz of contiguous spectrum in the 3550-3700 MHz band. The Report and Order combines the 3550-3650 MHz band with the existing 3650-3700 MHz band to create the CBRS, along with a three-tiered sharing model for Incumbents (including federal and fixed satellite station users), Priority Access users (auctioned by census tract), and the General Authorized Access tier. The existing 3.65 registrations of critical infrastructure entities will be governed by the GAA tier. The FCC provided interference protection for a period of at least five years (longer for some licensees) to existing 3.65 GHz registrations that were submitted to the Commission on or before April 17. In order to secure this protection, grandfathered licensees will eventually have to register their sites with the CBRS database administrator and secure a “protection zone” for their grandfathered operations. The FCC also exempted existing 3.65 GHz equipment deployed by critical infrastructure entities from many of the CBRS requirements. Please contact Greg Kunkle (202.434.4178; email@example.com) with questions.
Draft FirstNet RFP
On Friday, the FirstNet Board held a special meeting to consider a draft Request for Proposals that seeks input on the architecture of FirstNet’s planned 700 MHz broadband network and also aims at ensuring the financial sustainability of the network primarily through the $7 billion Congressional grant and user fees paid for access to excess capacity on the network. The Board also adopted and issued a Public Notice seeking further input about the definition of a “public safety entity” under the statute. Companies that fall within the definition of a “Public Safety Entity” may be eligible for priority access to FirstNet’s nationwide public safety broadband network. Comments in response to the Public Notice are due within 30 days of publication in the Federal Register. Comments in response to the draft RFP are due within 90 days of release of the document. Please contact Al Catalano (202.434.4207; firstname.lastname@example.org) with questions.
House Passes Cyber Information Sharing Bills
Last Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed two cybersecurity information sharing bills that gained qualified support from the Obama Administration. Together, the bills (the Protect Cyber Networks Act (PCNA) and the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act (NCPAA)) would authorize companies to share cyber threat information and defensive measures with each other and the government, and would limit their liability in connection with such measures if certain privacy protections are implemented. The Senate is already considering a similar bill, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA). Presidential support for the Senate bill may be critical to its passage. To read a more detailed summary, click here. Please contact Tracy Marshall (202.434.4234; email@example.com) with questions.
Following up on last week's OSHA 30/30 webinar, Keller and Heckman LLP will convene interested parties to discuss a possible industry coalition to respond to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Request for Information on Communication Tower Safety. The meeting will be held at the Keller and Heckman office, 1001 G Street, N.W., Suite 500 West, Washington, D.C. To register to attend or for more information, please contact Mike Fitch (Fitch@khlaw.com; 202-434-4264), David Sarvadi (Sarvadi@khlaw.com; 202-424-4249), or Manesh Rath (Rath@khlaw.com; 202-434-4182).
PSAP Architecture Meeting
Last week, the FCC announced the next meeting of the Task Force on Optimal Public Safety Answering Point architecture. The meeting is scheduled for the afternoon of April 29. The FCC formed the Task Force last December and held its inaugural meeting in January. The inaugural meeting created some controversy within the public safety community, as Commissioner O’Rielly urged its members to consider consolidating the nation’s approximately 5,900 PSAPs. Parties in the FCC’s pending 911 reliability proceeding (Vol. XI, Issue 13) largely opposed the idea of the federal government pushing for PSAP consolidation, arguing that states and localities should be empowered to establish and support PSAPs in a way they deem appropriate for their constituents. Please contact Wes Wright (firstname.lastname@example.org; 202.434.4239) with questions.
Keller and Heckman at UTC
Keller and Heckman attorneys Doug Jarrett, Tom Magee, Greg Kunkle, and Al Catalano will be attending the UTC Telecom Conference in Atlanta from May 5-8. Mr. Jarrett will be participating on two panels related to rural broadband initiatives. At 9:30 on May 6, his panel in the Ansley Room will focus on Financing your Rural Broadband Deployment – Weighing Public and Private Options. On May 7 at 11, he will provide a Regulatory Landscape Update and Funding Models to Support Rural Broadband Projects, also in the Ansley Room. Mr. Catalano will be a panelist on Network Sharing: A Working Partnership Between Public Safety and Utilities in Telecommunications at 10:45 on May 6 in the Grand Ballroom II. Please feel free to join them on these panels and visit Keller and Heckman’s attorneys at Booth #831.
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