Telecom Business Alert -- Vol. VIII Issue 3

Date: Jan 18, 2011

FCC Ramps Up Narrowbanding Educational Efforts; Strict Enforcement Likely to Follow

Last week, the FCC released the agenda for its January 26, 2011 workshop on narrowbanding. Panels will focus on transition impact, equipment procurement, and funding/budgetary issues. Interested participants can register at the FCC's website or view the workshop at www.fcc.gov/live at 1 PM EST on the 26th. While 2013 may seem like a long way off with 2010 barely completed, the fact that the Commission is scheduling workshops like these in January 2011 illustrates two important points. First, the transition to narrowband is not something that can be deferred; the transition to narrowband operations is challenging from perspectives of cost, planning, and implementation. The challenge is being compounded for many licensees as a result of Factory Mutual's adoption of new technology standards for intrinsically safe radios. Second, the FCC's education efforts and the extended notice period for the final cutover to narrowband technology in 2013 suggests the Enforcement Bureau may be particularly aggressive in enforcing the final phase of the narrowband transition. 

Connecticut Disputes Illustrate Importance of Local Government in Tower Siting


It's no secret that wireless companies have fought for years with local governments on placement of cell sites. While many wireless networks require towers in order to provide ample coverage, wireless towers tend to be a "not in my backyard" issue for community residents and push-back is frequently strong from local governments. Debates in Connecticut this week, however, indicate that Part 90 licensees, as well as wireless companies, must confront the NIMBY syndrome. Heated opposition to proposed tower construction plans arose at town council meetings in New Fairfield, Washington, and Greenwich, Connecticut. The New Fairfield controversy is significant because it involves a tower which has been designated for use by public safety licensees. The intense opposition to wireless towers in Connecticut could trickle down to other private licensees as the issue gains more traction among smaller communities.

K&H Telecom Video Minute: Greg Kunkle on Spectrum Acquisition Options

Partition? Disaggregation? Which is right for your business? Spectrum acquisition options at the FCC can be confusing. Thankfully, in this week's Video Minute, Partner Greg Kunkle is here to explain to you how dividing spectrum can be as easy as… fruitcake. Watch and find out: http://www.khlaw.com/shownews.aspx?show=4220

Keller and Heckman LLP Partner Tom Magee Speaks On Utility Pole Access in Dallas

To begin the new year, Keller and Heckman's telecom attorneys are criss-crossing America, making appearances to discuss pressing topics in the world of telecommunications. This past week, Partner Tom Magee spoke at UTC's Utilities Joint Use and Wireless Collocation Summit in Dallas, which was well-attended by both utility pole owners and wireless attachers. Tom's presentation focused on rates for access to utility poles by both wireless and wireline companies. Stay tuned for details on Keller and Heckman's presence at the 2011 Utility Telecom Forum (Region 8, 9, 10 Meeting) from February 7-9 in Reno, Nevada.

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