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).