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Telecom Alert - April 17, 2017: AT&T to Acquire Straight Path; Acumen Licenses Revoked; Satellite Consensus Plan; Pai Terminates Airplane Cellphone Docket;

AT&T to Acquire Straight Path

AT&T announced the Company’s intention to acquire Straight Path Communications Inc. for $1.6 billion last week. In January, the FCC Enforcement Bureau entered a consent decree with Straight Path Communications, which required Straight Path to forfeit $15 million in civil penalties and 196 of its 39GHz licenses, and sell the remainder of its license portfolio. The acquisition would give AT&T access to additional millimeter-wave band spectrum in the 28 and 39 GHz bands to support and accelerate 5G deployment. Reportedly, Verizon may be readying a more aggressive bid.

FCC Revokes all Acumen Licenses

An FCC Administrative Law Judge issued an Order revoking all current Acumen licenses and denying all pending wireless radio applications filed by the company for failing to appear at a recent show cause hearing. The hearing was scheduled to determine whether Acumen “repeatedly made misrepresentations to and lacked candor with the Commission in failing to disclose the felony conviction” of Acumen executive, Hector Mosquera.

Satellite Broadband Operators Recommend Plan for 47 GHz and 50 GHz Bands

Last week, EchoStar Satellite Operating Corporation, Hughes Network Systems, LLC, Inmarsat, Inc., Intelsat Corporation, and WorldVu Satellites Ltd. d/b/a OneWeb submitted an ex parte filing, which set forth a consensus plan for the 47 GHz and the 50 GHz bands.  The plan divides the spectrum into four sub-bands, intending to balance the needs of Fixed Satellite Service (FSS) and Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service (UMFUS).  UMFUS will have primary designation in bands 47.2-48.2 GHz, 50.4-51.4 GHz, and 51.4-54 GHz, and will not use 48.2-50.2 GHz.  FSS will have primary designation in 48.2-50.2 and conditional operation in the other three bands.

Chairman Pai Circulates Order Terminating Airplane Cellphone Docket

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced that he is terminating an FCC proceeding that would have permitted airlines to allow passengers to use voice communication via cell phone above 10,000 feet. In a statement the Chairman stated that terminating the proposed rules is in the public interest and that “taking it off the table permanently will be a victory for Americans across the country who, like me, value a moment of quiet at 30,000 feet.”

S.E.E. Joint Use Committee Meeting

The Southeastern Electric Exchange Joint Use Committee Meeting will be held April 18-19, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. 

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced it will be hosting a technical assistance workshop to explain the funding and planning associated with broadband infrastructure projects for state and local governments.  The workshop will be held this Wednesday, April 19, 2017, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Mesa Arts Center in Mesa, Arizona.

NEDAS NYC Spring Summit

The NEDAS NYC Spring Summit will be held this Thursday, April 20, 2017 from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. NEDAS focuses on in-building wireless DAS and small cell infrastructure.

ENTELEC Conference & Expo

The ENTELEC Conference & Expo will be held April 25-27, 2017 in Houston, Texas.  The Conference & Expo is a great opportunity to network and build relationships with a diverse group of professionals from the petroleum, pipeline, natural gas and electric utility sectors. 

© 2017 Keller and Heckman LLP

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C. Douglas Jarrett, Keller Heckman, telecommunications lawyer, procurement law
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Douglas Jarrett joined Keller and Heckman in 1979. Mr. Jarrett specializes in telecommunications law, policy and procurement matters.

Mr. Jarrett is a recognized expert in representing enterprises in negotiating telecommunications services agreements with the major wireline and wireless carriers, domestically and globally.  He also advises enterprises on M2M services, cloud computing and IVR technology procurements. 

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Mr. Kunkle regularly counsels critical infrastructure companies, such as electric utilities, oil and gas companies, and railroads, public safety agencies, and commercial providers regarding FCC wireless licensing and compliance issues.  He assists clients in identifying and acquiring wireless spectrum through a variety of means, including spectrum leasing, purchase and sale of licenses, and the FCC's auction process. His spectrum acquisition practice spans all of the FCC’s wireless frequency allocations, including the 220 MHz band, AMTS (217/219 MHz), VHF/UHF Part 22 Paging, the 1.4 GHz band, Part 90 800/900 MHz bands, MAS, the 2.5 GHz EBS/BRS band, and the 700 MHz band.

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