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2.5 GHz Rulemaking Comment Deadlines; Wireless Location Accuracy Rulemaking; FCC Enforcement Advisory on Drones; Missouri Bill Encouraging Electric Cooperatives to Provide Broadband Signed into Law: Telecom Alert - June 11, 2018

2.5 GHz Rulemaking Comment Deadlines Set

The FCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for the 2.5 GHz band was published in the Federal Register last week, establishing the comment cycle deadlines.  In April, the Commission released the draft text of its NPRM, which proposes changes to service areas and additional flexibility to Educational Broadband Spectrum (EBS) licenses.  It then proposes three filing windows, giving priority to existing licensees.  After the three filing windows close, the NPRM proposes making remaining spectrum available through competitive bidding.  Comments are due by July 9, 2018, and Reply Comments are due by August 6, 2018.

Wireless Location Accuracy Rulemaking

According to a source in the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, the Commission will initiate a rulemaking proceeding in the next few months to examine whether dispatchable-location information should accompany all 911 calls, regardless of the technology used to make the call.  Under existing FCC benchmarks for wireless location accuracy, all providers were required to achieve 50-meter horizontal accuracy or provide dispatchable locations for 50 percent of all wireless calls by April 3 of this year.  Current FCC rules would not require 100 percent of wireless calls to include dispatchable-location information until 2022 for the top 25 Cellular Market Areas (CMA), and until 2023 for the top 50 CMAs.​

FCC Enforcement Advisory on Drones

Last week the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau released an Enforcement Advisory reminding manufacturers, retailers, and operators of drones that the use of noncompliant radio accessories, specifically audio/video transmitters, is a violation of Commission rules.  The Bureau noted that there has been a surge in websites advertising and selling drone AV transmitters that are not authorized under the FCC’s rules.  The Bureau also noted that only equipment that is capable of operating on frequencies allocated for use by amateur licensees is excepted from the equipment authorization requirement.  Violations can result in substantial monetary fines of up to $19,639 per day for marketing violations and up to $147,290 for ongoing violations.

Missouri Bill Encouraging Electric Cooperatives to Provide Broadband Signed into Law

Former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens signed HB 1880 into law last week, which promotes broadband deployment in the State by encouraging rural electric cooperatives and their broadband affiliates to continue entering into joint or cooperative agreements with the State, municipalities, telecommunications companies, member-owned cooperative telephone companies, and cable and Internet service providers to make use of electric cooperative fiber optic infrastructure.

Restoring Internet Freedom Rule Effective Today

The Restoring Internet Freedom Order became effective today, June 11, 2018.  As we previously reported (Vol. XV, Issue 2), the rule repeals the 2015 Open Internet Order.  In its place, the Restoring Internet Freedom Order provides a comprehensive “transparency rule” and shifts enforcement authority to the FTC.  The broadband service provider Disclosure Rule adopted with the Restoring Internet Freedom Order also became effective today (Vol. XV, Issue 22).

© 2018 Keller and Heckman LLP

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C. Douglas Jarrett, Keller Heckman, telecommunications lawyer, procurement law
Partner

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. 

Mr. Jarrett represents technology companies in securing amendments to the FCC rules to enable the...

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Gregory E. Kunkle, Keller Heckman, regulatory attorney, FCC lawyer
Partner

Gregory Kunkle joined Keller and Heckman in 2006. Mr. Kunkle practices in the area of telecommunications, with an emphasis on assisting corporate clients and trade associations with various legal and regulatory matters before the Federal Communications Commission.

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.

Mr. Kunkle counsels clients that become involved in the FCC's enforcement process including by responding to and vigorously defending against complaints and investigations and, where appropriate, negotiating settlements with the Commission. 

202-434-4178
Thomas B. Magee, Keller Heckman, transactional counsel, litigation attorney, FCC law, safety violation lawyer
Partner

Thomas Magee joined Keller and Heckman in 2000. Mr. Magee provides regulatory, transactional and litigation counsel to investor-owned electric utilities, electric cooperatives and municipalities regarding pole attachments and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) licensing of private wireless telecommunications services.

Mr. Magee has helped to resolve dozens of pole attachment disputes affecting make-ready costs, safety violations, unauthorized attachments, annual rental rates and other terms and conditions of access. He negotiates,...

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Tracy Marshall, Keller Heckman, regulatory attorney, for-profit company lawyer
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Tracy Marshall joined Keller and Heckman in 2002. She assists clients with a range of business and regulatory matters.

In the business and transactional area, Ms. Marshall advises for-profit and non-profit clients on corporate organization, operations, and governance matters, and assists clients with structuring and negotiating a variety of transactions, including purchase and sale, marketing, outsourcing, and e-commerce agreements.

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202-434-4234
Wesley K. Wright, Keller Heckman, Telecommunications Lawyer, FCC Enforcement Attorney, DC
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Wesley Wright joined Keller and Heckman in 2006 and practices in the areas of telecommunications law.  He assists corporate clients and trade associations with various legal and regulatory matters before the Federal Communications Commission, Federal Aviation Administration, courts and state agencies.

Mr. Wright’s practice includes private wireless licensing, FCC enforcement, and related transactional matters.  He counsels clients on internal operations and governance matters and has drafted and negotiated asset purchase agreements,...

202.434.4239