Telecom Business Alert - CAF II Support; Interference Complaints; RF Comment Deadline; NG911; & FirstNet - Volume XII, Issue 35

Date: Aug 31, 2015

Price Cap Carriers Accept $1.5 Billion in CAF II Support

Last week, the FCC announced that ten price cap carriers accepted state-wide offers totaling $1.5 billion in annual support under the Connect America Fund Phase II (CAF II) program.  The CAF II recipients must extend broadband that meets the FCC’s 10 Mbps downstream/ 1 Mbps upstream speed metric to “unserved” rural areas identified by the FCC.  CenturyLink accepted over $500 million in support; AT&T and Verizon accepted $427 million and $48 million respectively.  Verizon declined almost $100 million in annual support.  Price cap carriers accepting CAF II state-wide offers must complete 40% of their rural broadband buildouts by the end of 2017, 60% by the end of 2018, and 100% by the end of 2020.  Approximately $175 million in annual support that the price cap carriers declined will be made available under reverse auction procedures to support broadband service to locations in the declined state-wide offers and in certain other rural areas.  For more information on CAF II support, please contact Doug Jarrett (Jarrett@khlaw.com; 202.434.4180).

Interference Complaints

Last week the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau announced its plan to refine the interference complaint intake and case management systems.  In an effort to better manage complaints – particularly those that require immediate attention – the Enforcement Bureau proposes to create a web portal to receive both public safety and industry interference complaints, confirm receipt of complaints, track the progress of complaints, and immediately escalate complaints to the proper field office.  It is unclear when this web portal will be created.  For additional information, please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).

Radiofrequency Comment Deadlines Extended

Also last week, the FCC adopted an Order extending the comment and reply comment deadlines for the Radiofrequency (RF) equipment authorization Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) released in July 2015.  Under the NPRM, the FCC proposes to make a number of changes, such as combining the two RF equipment approval programs and eliminating the requirement that device importers file Form 740.  Comments are due October 9, 2015 and reply comments are due November 9, 2015.  For additional information or assistance in preparing comments in this proceeding, please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).

Congressional Support for NG911

At the recent APCO Conference in Washington, D.C., FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced that he plans to seek Congressional help in facilitating the deployment of next-generation 911 networks.  The Chairman suggested that Congress establish a national map database to ensure that every public-safety answering point (PSAP) has access to the latest and most accurate maps.  He also said that Congress could direct the FCC to assist states in developing effective audit tools to ensure 911 funds are collected and distributed in an appropriate manner.  The Chairman also recommended Congress authorize additional funding to support the PSAP transition to NG911 technology.  For additional information, please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239).

FirstNet Industry Day

On August 27, FirstNet held its second Industry Day to provide information to the public safety entities and the general public on the FirstNet Developments and the proposed Request for Proposal for the Nationwide Public Safety Network (NPSBN).  A PowerPoint presentation pertaining to the Industry Day is available here.  For additional information, please contact Al Catalano (catalano@khlaw.com; 202.434.4207).

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Keller and Heckman LLP's Telecom Business Alert is a complimentary weekly electronic update created by the Telecommunications and the Business Counseling and Transactional practice groups 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.