Telecom Alert - FCC Rejects IMSA Part 90 Proposal; Unlawful Tower Transactions; E-Rate Update; FirstNet Update; Upcoming Events - Vol. XIV, Issue 28

Date: Jul 10, 2017

FCC Rejects IMSA Part 90 Proposal

The FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, and Office of Engineering and Technology issued an Order denying a Waiver Request filed by the International Municipal Signal Association (IMSA) asking the Commission to waive section 90.203(j)(4)-(5) of the Commission’s rules. The rule requires Private Land Mobile Radio (PLMR) to operate 6.25 kilohertz channels or with equivalent efficiency.  The rule went into effect at the start of 2015, and IMSA filed the waiver request mid-2016.  IMSA argued that the requirement would raise costs and reduce deployment, and requested that implementation of the rule be delayed until 2020.  The Commission disagreed and denied the waiver.  For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).

FCC Investigating Unlawful Tower Transactions

The FCC is investigating Aura Holdings, a Wisconsin telecommunications contractor, for incorrectly changing the ownership of over 40 towers in the FCC’s tower registration database to reflect their company name.  William M. Nix, the President of Aura, had been communicating with the Commission, committing to repair obstruction lighting on towers over 1,100 feet on more than one occasion.  In each instance, Nix assured the Commission he would correct the lighting issues but never took any action to do so.  A change of ownership occurs when a party logs in under their FCC Registration Number (FRN) and submits a form stating that they are the new owner.  The prior owner does not need to approve the ownership change, and, while they are supposed to receive a notification, two of the owners in this situation did not receive any correspondence indicating a change had been made.  The FCC confirmed it will send a Letter of Inquiry to Aura Holdings, but has not commented on any further actions that may be taken.  For more information, please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239).

E-Rate Update

The FY2018 FCC Form 470 is now available on the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC).  Eligible Schools and Libraries may now complete and file Form 470 to open competitive bidding for desired services.  Service providers can login to the EPC to view submitted Forms 470.  For more information, please contact Doug Jarrett (jarrett@khlaw.com; 202.434.4180).

FirstNet Update

Last week FirstNet released final programmatic environmental impact statements (PEIS) for the following non-contiguous areas:  Alaska, Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. For more information, please contact Al Catalano (catalano@khlaw.com; 202.434.4207). 

K&H Webinar: 2017 Spectrum Secondary Markets Update

Join Keller and Heckman LLP’s telecommunications attorneys as we discuss the secondary market spectrum options available to critical infrastructure entities for voice, SCADA, distribution automation, load control, metering, and other purposes.  This webinar will focus on specific bands in which critical infrastructure companies are actively acquiring spectrum.  Key spectrum options will be highlighted including the 217-222 MHz, 450 MHz, 700 MHz, and 900 MHz bands.  FCC rules that need to be considered by spectrum purchasers will be detailed and the process for acquiring spectrum will be explained.  The presentation will also provide updates on changes to spectrum policy in specific bands and how that may be driving secondary market activity.  This webinar is open only to enterprise end user companies.  For more information and to register, please click here or contact Doug Jarrett (jarrett@khlaw.com; 202.434.4180). 

Webinar:  Drafting Telecom Services Agreements: Structuring Key Provisions, Anticipating Legal Pitfalls, Mitigating Risks

Keller and Heckman attorney Doug Jarrett will be presenting on a telecommunications panel for the Strafford Online Legal Webinar July 18.  The webinar will guide business and technology counsel in drafting and negotiating agreements for telecommunication services.  For more information and to register, please click here or contact Doug Jarrett (jarrett@khlaw.com; 202.434.4180). 

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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 © 2015.  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.