Telecom Business Alert -- Vol. IX Issue 50

Date: Dec 10, 2012

FCC Approves TV White Space Devices Across East Coast

The FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology issued a Public Notice last week authorizing the use of devices designed to access the Internet through the TV white space in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Washington DC, Virginia and North Carolina. The FCC previously approved use of white spaces in a few localized areas. In a separate Public Notice last week, OET indicated it would launch a nationwide online registration system to enable major event/production venues across the country to register their wireless microphones with white space database systems to protect them from white space devices. For more information, please contract Greg Kunkle (Kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).

FCC Narrowband Deadline Reminder


At long last, three weeks remain until the FCC's narrwobanding deadline. By January 1, 2013, Industrial/Business and Public Safety Radio Pool licensees in the VHF (150-174 MHz) and UHF (421-512 MHz) bands 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). A number of public safety and private land mobile licenses in the VHF and UHF bands apparently still require narrowbanding. Licensees not meeting the January 1, 2013 narrowband requirements and failing to obtain an extension of this deadline likely will be subject to enforcement action by the FCC, including monetary forfeitures and/or license cancellation. FCC staff has indicated that applications filed with certified frequency coordinators prior to December 31, 2012, will be presumed to be compliant with the deadline. For assistance in filing the required narrowband applications or appropriate extension request, please contact Wes Wright (202.434.4296; wright@khlaw.com).

"Licensees might want to use the last few weeks of the year to double-check their licenses and confirm compliance with the narrowbanding mandate."

-Wes Wright
Attorney, Keller and Heckman LLP

Motorola Solutions Seeks Waiver Related to Narrowbanding

Motorola Solutions requested a waiver of the FCC's rules to allow the continued manufacture and import of 25 kHz capable equipment for sale to entities that have received waivers of the Commission's January 1, 2013, narrowbanding deadline. The company anticipates that "new equipment will need to be manufactured after January 1, 2013, to ensure that systems of waiver recipients remain in full working order until their migration to narrowband technology is complete." The company confirmed that radios would have the capacity to operate on 25 kHz and 12.5 kHz channels. 

Missouri Pole Attachment Legislation


Legislators in Missouri last week proposed a bill that would guarantee cable and telecom providers a right to access electric utility poles owned by cooperatives in the state at FCC rates and pursuant to other FCC rules, all to be enforced by Missouri courts. Building on momentum generated by last year's FCC Pole Attachment Order, cable and telecom companies are pushing for FCC-like protections in several states. For more information, please contact Tom Magee (magee@khlaw.com; 202-434-4128).

K&H Webinar Assesses Pole Attachment Appeal


The FCC's April 2011 Order created a host of new regulations governing attachments to poles owned by electric utilities. Utilities have challenged core decisions of the FCC at the Court of Appeals for the Washington, D.C. Circuit and on reconsideration before the Commission. Oral Argument in the court case has been scheduled for January 23, 2013. Keller and Heckman LLP represents the "Coalition of Concerned Utilities," a group of ten utilities that requested reconsideration at the FCC and has intervened in the court proceeding. On Thursday, January 17 from 2:00-3:00 Eastern Time, Partner Tom Magee will assess the issues on reconsideration and appeal and discuss what utilities might expect during a one-hour webinar for utility personnel. The cost is $100 per telephone line. To register, click here. For questions, please feel free to contact Tom (202.434.4128; magee@khlaw.com).

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