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Geoffrey Starks Nominated to FCC; FCC Funding for Puerto Rico and USVI; Revised CBRS PAL Proposal; California Senate Passes State Net Neutrality Bill; FCC Proposes $590,380 Fine for Non-Compliant Equipment: Telecom Alert - June 4, 2018

Geoffrey Starks Nominated to FCC

Last week, the White House announced the nomination of Geoffrey Starks to replace Commissioner Mignon Clyburn.  Starks currently serves as Assistant Bureau Chief in the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau.  Previously, Starks served at the U.S. Department of Justice.  It was reported in March that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) had selected Starks to fill the seat.  FCC Chairman Pai issued a statement congratulating Starks and wishing him the best through the confirmation process. 

FCC Funding for Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands

The Commission released an Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which it adopted on May 8, 2018.  The Order established the Uneido a Puerto Rico Fund and the Connect USVI Fund, which allocate up to $750 million in Puerto Rico and up to $204 million in the US Virgin Islands to support facilities-based providers of voice and broadband in the next year.  The NPRM proposes that $699 million ($44.55M to Puerto Rico and $188.5M to USVI) over ten years be removed from the frozen support fund and offered through a competitive mechanism, such as a reverse auction or request for proposal (RFP) process.  Comments and Reply Comments are due 21 days and 35 days, respectively, after publication in the Federal Register. 

Revised CBRS PAL Proposal

A coalition of companies submitted an ex parte filing outlining a revised proposal for Priority Access Licenses (PALs) 3.5 GHz Citizens Broadband Radio Service (“CBRS”) band.  The proposal calls for a seven-year license term and PALs in a combination of sizes, including county, census-tract, and Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs).  The Coalition includes Frontier, Google, GE, Motorola, NCTA, NTCA, Ruckus Networks, the Rural Wireless Association, and the Wireless Internet Service Provider Association.  In addition to the companies who signed the filing, there are companies and associations listed as supporting of the proposed framework for PAL licensing, including NRECA. 

California Senate Passes Net Neutrality Bill

Last week, the California Senate passed SB 822, which restores the net neutrality rules repealed by the Restoring Internet Freedom Order.  After a vote of 23 to 12, the bill will move to the Assembly.   Predictably, the California Cable and Telecommunications Association opposes the bill.  The Restoring Internet Freedom Order will go into effect on June 11, 2018 (Vol. XV, Issue 20).

FCC Proposes $590,380 Fine for Non-Compliant Equipment

The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau issued a Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL) against Bear Down Brands, LLC, doing business as Pure Enrichment, for marketing “14 models of consumer-grade electronic personal hygiene and wellness devices that were apparently noncompliant because they lacked proper equipment authorization, user manual disclosures, and/or FCC labels.”  The NAL proposes a fine of $590,380, finding that upward adjustment was warranted based on Pure Enrichment’s intentional conduct and the duration and scope of the violations.

© 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. 

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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. 

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Thomas B. Magee, Keller Heckman, transactional counsel, litigation attorney, FCC law, safety violation lawyer
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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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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,...

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