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3.65 Comments Extended; FirstNet 2016 Consultation; Municipal Broadband; M&A Compliance

3.65 Comments Extended

Today the FCC released a Public Notice extending the comment filing deadline for its proposal on how to define Grandfathered Wireless Protection Zones under the new Citizens Broadband Radio Service for the 3550-3700 MHz band (3.5 GHz band).  The Commission has extended the comment deadline to December 28, 2015, and the deadline for reply comments has been extended to January 12, 2016. 

FirstNet 2016 Consultation

Last week in a blog post, FirstNet announced the official launch of its 2016 consultation program.  The agency also sent planning packages to the Single Points of Contacts (SPOCS) for all 56 states and territories.  The package provides an overview of FirstNet’s consultation approach and includes tools to assist SPOCS with preparing for consultation.  In the announcement, FirstNet also reiterated its three goals for 2016: (1) expanding outreach and education with state/territory, tribal, local, and public safety entities; (2) obtaining state and territory input to inform State Plans and network deployment policies, processes, and procedures; and (3) preparing key decision makers for State Plan delivery and network deployment.  

Municipal Broadband

This month, a group of six Republican Senators sent a letter to the FCC expressing concern over the Commission’s encouragement of the deployment of broadband networks by municipal governments.  The letter referenced the FCC’s recent preemption of state regulations in Tennessee and North Carolina which prevented municipal broadband networks from expanding.  The letter asked the Commission to provide detailed information regarding the FCC’s outreach efforts to municipal broadband providers, including the dollar amount committed to municipal broadband providers through the Universal Service Fund’s Rural Broadband Experiments funds.

M&A Compliance

As the end of the year approaches, licensees are reminded that Section 310(d) of the Communications Act requires entities to secure the FCC’s prior consent to assign or transfer control of an FCC license as part of any transaction.  Failure to comply with the FCC’s rules may result in substantial fines and other penalties. 

© 2020 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume V, Number 362



About this Author

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

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...

Albert J. Catalano, Keller and Heckman, Domestic Joint Ventures Attorney, FCC Regulation Lawyer, DC

Albert Catalano joined Keller and Heckman in 2014.  Mr. Catalano has 30 years of experience in telecommunications regulatory and legislative matters, domestic and international joint ventures, litigation, and transactions involving communications, properties and investments.  Mr. Catalano represents States and other entities in matters related to the buildout of the 700 MHz nationwide public safety broadband network on spectrum licensed to FirstNet.  He has extensive experience in spectrum relocation proceedings.  Mr. Catalano’s practice focuses on wireless...

Wesley K. Wright, Keller Heckman, Telecommunications Lawyer, FCC Enforcement Attorney, DC

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,...

Timothy A. Doughty, Keller Heckman, Telecommunications Licensing Specialist, Lawyer, FCC Matters Attorney

Timothy Doughty joined Keller and Heckman in 2009 as a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Licensing Specialist.

Mr. Doughty assists clients with the preparation of FCC applications, modifications, special temporary authorities, requests for rule waiver, renewals and spectrum leases in various radio services including Private Land Mobile, Microwave, Coast and Ground and Aircraft. His capabilities also include the preparation of tower registrations with the FCC and Obstruction Evaluations and Aeronautical Studies with the Federal Aviation...