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Telecom Alert - Mid-Band Order and NPRM; Farm Bill Passes House; Hawaii Small Cell Deployment; Comment Deadline Extended in 2.5 GHz Rulemaking; Robocall Report - Vol. XV, Issue 26

Date: Jun 25, 2018

Mid-Band Order and NPRM at FCC’s July Open Meeting

Following Chairman Pai’s announcement last month (Vol. XV, Issue 22), the FCC released the draft text of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Order that seeks to make mid-band spectrum in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band available for wireless broadband.  The Order seeks to collect information on satellite earth and space stations operating in the band.  The NPRM seeks comment on how to define classes of incumbents, a proposal to add a mobile allocation in the band, and allowing point-to-multipoint use on a shared basis in the band, among others.  The NPRM and Order will be voted on by the Commission at its July 12 Open Meeting.  For more information, please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239).

Agriculture Appropriations Bill Passes House

H.R. 2, the Agriculture Appropriations Bill (also known as the “Farm Bill”) was narrowly passed by the House of Representatives last week.  The bill allocates $620 million for broadband deployment in rural areas through loans and grants including the Broadband Loan, Community Connect, Distance Learning and Telemedicine programs and a broadband pilot program (Vol. XV, Issue 20)The Senate version of the bill passed through the Senate Agriculture Committee on June 13 and a full Senate vote is expected this week.  Following that, the House and Senate Agriculture Committees will work on a compromise bill.  For more information, please contact Kathleen Slattery (slattery@khlaw.com; 202.434.4244).

Hawaii Enacts Law Promoting Small Cell Deployment

On June 22 Hawaii’s governor David Ige signed new legislation which will promote the deployment of small cells.  The law established a permitting, application, review, and approval process for wireless providers or communications service providers to install wireless devices on state or county-owned utility poles.  The law does not apply to utility poles owned solely by investor-owned utility companies or utility poles owned by investor-owned utilities in which the State or counties have ownership interests.  For more information, please contact Tom Magee (magee@khlaw.com; 202.434.4128). 

Comment Deadline Extended in 2.5 GHz Rulemaking

The FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) released an Order last week extending the Comment and Reply Comment deadlines in its 2.5 GHz Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM).  The NPRM proposes changes to service areas and additional flexibility to Education Broadband Spectrum (EBS) licenses by establishing three filing windows, giving priority to existing licensees.  After the filing windows close, the NPRM proposes to make the remaining spectrum available through competitive bidding (Vol. XV, Issue 24).  The deadline for filing Comments has been extended to August 8, and the deadline for filing Reply Comments has been extended to September 7, 2018.  For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).

FCC Seeks Input For “Robocall” Report

Last week the FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB) released a Public Notice seeking comments on the progress of robocalling initiatives.  The CGB is seeking input for a report focusing on the progress made in combatting illegal robocalls since the implementation of the November 2017 Call Blocking Order (Vol. XIV, Issue 46), which became effective in February 2018.  Comments and Reply Comments are due by July 20 and August 20, 2018, respectively.  For more information, please contact Tracy Marshall (marshall@khlaw.com; 202.434.4234).

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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 © 2018.  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.