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Telecom Alert - 13.4 Million in CAF-II Funding Authorized; House Markup of Broadband Mapping, Spectrum, 5G Security Bills; WISP Fined $25,000 for FAA Interference; FCC Strengthens Lifeline Program Against Waste, Fraud, and Abuse - Vol. XVI, Issue 46

$13.4 Million in CAF-II Funding Authorized

The Wireline Competition Bureau announced in a Public Notice last Wednesday the authorization of $13,468,202.20 in CAF-II support for to Hankins Information Technology and Newmax, LLC (d/b/a Intermax Networks).  Hankins, which was included in the Third Ready to Authorize Public Notice from May 10, 2019, was granted a waiver of the letter of credit and bankruptcy opinion letter deadline due to special circumstances, remaining eligible for the long-form application review.  The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) will disburse the support in 120 monthly payments beginning at the end of this month.  

House Markup of Broadband Mapping, Spectrum, 5G Security Bills

The House Communications and Technology subcommittee held a markup session of nine bills last Friday that involved broadband mapping, 5G network and supply chain security, and satellite TV reauthorization.  One of the bills marked up was the Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability Act (Vol. XVI, Issue 36), which directs the FCC to require collection of granular broadband availability data.  

Wireless Internet Service Provider Fined $25,000 for FAA Interference

The Enforcement Bureau issued an Forfeiture Order imposing a $25,000 fine against WinPR, Inc. for interfering with the FAA’s terminal doppler weather radar station in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  WinPR willfully operated two Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure devices with the required Dynamic Frequency Selection feature disabled.  This prevented the devices from sensing the radar station and switching to a non-interfering frequency.  

FCC Strengthens Lifeline Program Against Waste, Fraud, and Abuse

The FCC released a Fifth Report and Order, Memorandum Opinion and Order and Order on Reconsideration, and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Order and FNPRM) aimed at improving the integrity, effectiveness, and efficiency of the Lifeline program.  The Order restores the states’ primary role in designating Eligible Telecommunications Carriers (ETCs), eliminates the Lifeline Broadband Provider ETC category, and implements improvements to the enrollment and recertifications processes. The Commission also clarifies ETC service obligations.  The FNPRM seeks comment on increasing broadband adoption for consumers who would not otherwise subscribe to broadband and on making additional program integrity improvements. 

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

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

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. 

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

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,...

Tracy Marshall, Keller Heckman, regulatory attorney, for-profit company lawyer

Tracy Marshall 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.

In the privacy, data security, and advertising areas, she helps clients comply with privacy, data security, and consumer protection laws, including laws governing telemarketing and...

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,...