Telecom Business Alert -- Vol VII Issue 5

Date: Feb 01, 2010

FCC Auction 87 Including VHF and UHF Paired Paging Frequencies Set for May 25 The FCC has announced procedures and minimum opening bid amounts for the upcoming Auction 87, which is scheduled to commence on May 25, 2010. The auction will include 9,603 licenses distributed throughout the United States, including 7,752 licenses in the lower paging bands (35 MHz, 43 MHz, 152/158 MHz (paired) and 454/459 MHz (paired) and 1,851 licenses in the upper paging bands (929 MHz and 931 MHz). These licenses are designated for commercial service, but many private licensees, including utilities, oil and gas companies and public safety entities, have acquired previously auctioned paging frequencies. A rule waiver is required to use these frequencies for private, internal purposes, but the FCC grants such waivers routinely. Importantly, these frequency assignments are not subject to narrow banding. Key benchmarks leading to Auction 87:
  • The short-form application (FCC Form 175) may be filed beginning at noon ET on March 4, 2010, and must be filed by 6:00 p.m. ET on March 16, 2010.
  • The upfront payment and FCC Remittance Advice Form (FCC Form 159) is due on or before 6:00 p.m. ET on April 23, 2010.
  • A mock auction is scheduled for May 21, 2010.
For questions regarding the auction, please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).

Utilities Blast Make-Ready Proposals

EEI, UTC, Keller and Heckman LLP client the Coalition of Concerned Utilities (Allegheny, BGE, Dayton P&L, KCP&L FirstEnergy, National Grid, NSTAR, PPL), and other utility groups descended on the FCC's Broadband Staff last week to explain real-world utility operations and how the safety and integrity of those operations would be compromised by pole attachment make-ready proposals being pushed by communications attachers. For additional information or if you would like to join the Coalition, please contact Tom Magee (magee@khlaw.com; 202-434-4128). FCC Narrowband Migration Deadlines As a reminder regarding the FCC's upcoming "narrowbanding" requirements (See Vol. VI, Issue 49), beginning January 1, 2011, the Commission will no longer accept applications for new wideband 25 kHz operations (i.e., operating with only one voice path per 25 kHz of spectrum) or modifications of existing wideband 25 kHz stations that expand the authorized interference contour. By January 1, 2013, Industrial/Business and Public Safety Radio Pool licensees must operate on 12.5 kHz or narrower channels or employ a technology that achieves the narrowband equivalent of one channel per 12.5 kHz of channel bandwidth (voice) or 4800 bits per second per 6.25 kHz (data). Licensees in the 150-174 MHz and 421-512 MHz bands that do not meet the January 1, 2013 narrowband requirements may be subject to enforcement action, including admonishments, monetary forfeitures and/or license cancellation. FCC Team Haiti Assists with Relief Efforts in Haiti The FCC has deployed a team, led by its International Bureau Chief, to work with Conseil National des Télécommunications (Conatel), the communications agency in Haiti. The team will evaluate the status of the country's communications infrastructure and services following the January 12 earthquake, and develop options for restoring services to the country. More information is available on the Commission's blog, at http://reboot.fcc.gov/blog?entryId=84801.

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