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911 Reliability Rules; IP Transition; NTIA Oversight Hearing; AT&T Agreement with San Jose; Proposed Q3 USF Contribution Factor; FCC Revokes Metro Two-Way Licenses; FCC Nomination Hearing: Telecom Alert, June 18, 2018

911 Reliability Rules Public Notice

Last week, the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau issued a Public Notice seeking comment on its 911 reliability rules.  The Commission seeks comment on the current reliability rules, and whether they should continue to require Covered 911 Service Providers to certify compliance annually.  In the alternative, the Commission asks if they should replace these rules with a general standard requiring Covered 911 Service Providers to take reasonable measures to ensure reliability.  The Commission also seeks comment on whether the definition of Covered 911 Service Provider and the PSAP outage reporting rules should be updated.  Comments are due July 16, 2018 and Reply Comments are due August 13, 2018.  

FCC Takes Balanced Approach on IP Transition.

Earlier this month, the FCC adopted its Second Report and Order on the IP transition, taking a balanced approach for streamlined processing of ILEC applications to discontinue legacy wireline voice services and rejecting arguments that the FCC should forbear from reviewing ILEC IP transition decisions.  To obtain streamlined review of Section 214 applications to discontinue legacy wireline services, an ILEC must either meet the more rigorous adequate replacement test if there is no other service provider in the area or offer a standalone wireline VoIP service having comparable latency, 911 access, and geographic coverage as the discontinued legacy voice service so long as another facilities-based voice service (which may be mobile wireless voice service provided by an unaffiliated carrier) is available in the service area. 

NTIA Oversight Hearing

Last week, the Senate Commerce Committee held an NTIA oversight hearing, in which David Redl, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and Administrator of NTIA, testified.  Regarding the agency’s management of federal spectrum, Redl proposed selling secondary access rights to federal spectrum as a possible tool to make more federal spectrum available.  Redl noted that military use of spectrum is complex, so other approaches, such as an incentive auction, may not work.  Committee Members also pressed Redl on the status of the Broadband Map, and Redl noted that more work is needed.

AT&T Agreement with San Jose

The City of San Jose, California announced last week it has reached a tentative agreement with AT&T to install a network of 170 small cells on lampposts across the city by the end of the year to improve wireless coverage.  According to City officials, the small cells will offer enhanced voice and data capacity for residents and businesses, paving the way for next generation 5G mobile broadband.  The City further expects that this technology will fortify the FirstNet network, assisting first responders.

Proposed Third Quarter USF Contribution Factor

The FCC released a Public Notice proposing the Third Quarter 2018 Universal Service Contribution Factor.  The proposed contribution factor is 17.9%.  If the Commission takes no action within 14 days of the release of the Public Notice, the contribution factor will be deemed approved by the Commission.  

FCC Revokes Metro Two-Way’s Licenses

Early last week, the FCC’s Chief Administrative Law Judge issued an Order revoking all FCC licenses and authorizations.  On May 3, 2018, the FCC released an Order to Show Cause, Hearing Designation Order, and Notice of Opportunity for Hearing, which commenced a hearing proceeding regarding Metro Two-Way’s eligibility as a licensee.  The FCC documents in the proceeding indicate that Metro Two-Way failed to disclose that a principal of the company had been convicted of a felony on its license applications. Metro Two-Way did not respond to the May 3 Order, and the FCC’s Chief ALJ found they had waived their right to be heard.

FCC Nomination Hearing Scheduled

The Senate Commerce Committee announced that they will hold a Nominations Hearing on June 20, 2018.  At the hearing, the nomination of Geoffrey Starks for FCC Commissioner will be considered.  Earlier this month, the White House announced the nomination of Geoffrey Starks to replace Commissioner Mignon Clyburn (Vol. XV, Issue 23).

© 2018 Keller and Heckman LLP

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

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