Telecom Alert: 2.5 GHz Auction Procedures; New Application Fee Rates; ECF Funding; Upcoming 800 MHz Action; Broadband Communities Summit [Vol. XIX, Issue 13]
2.5 GHz Auction Procedures Released
Last week, the FCC released a Public Notice establishing the procedures for the Commissions 2.5 GHz band auction (“Auction 108”) (Vol. XIX, Issue 10). Auction 108 will offer more than 8,000 licenses in the band and will be conducted using an ascending clock auction. The Commission also launched a mapping tool on its website that is designed to help potential bidders locate where and to what extent there is unassigned 2.5 GHz spectrum. Auction 108 is scheduled to commence on July 29, 2022.
New Application Fee Rates
The FCC announced that the new application fees for the Wireless Telecommunication Bureau will go into effect on April 19, 2022 (Vol. XVIII, Issue 46). Applications for new site-based licenses and major modifications will now cost $95, while the application fee for renewals/leases will be lowered from $50 to $35. Assignment or transfer of control applications were also lowered from $50 per-call-sign to $50 for the first call sign and $35 for every additional call sign, capping the number of call signs chargeable per application to ten for a maximum potential fee of $365.
Third Emergency Connectivity Fund Filing Window
Last week, the FCC announced that it is opening a third application filing window to award at least $1 billion in Emergency Connectivity Fund support. The filing window will be open from April 28, 2022, through May 13, 2022. During the window, eligible schools and libraries can submit funding requests to purchase eligible equipment and services between July 1, 2022 and December 31, 2023. Given past demand, the third filing window will likely be the last opportunity to request funding before the remaining Emergency Connectivity Funds are exhausted.
800 MHz Action Coming Soon
During a virtual meeting of the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council’s broadband working group last week, the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau Deputy Chief David Furth said that action to provide access to 800 MHz band interstitial channels is expected “in the relatively near time frame.” In 2018, the Commission adopted a Report and Order updating its rules to facilitate access to interstitial channels in the 800 MHz band, which exist in the separation space between licensees in the mid-band. The channels are meant to promote more efficient use of this portion of the band.
Broadband Communities Summit 2022
Broadband Communities Magazine is hosting its annual summit from May 2, 2022 through May 5, 2022 in Houston, Texas. The summit brings together community leaders, multifamily property owners, and network builders and deployers to share insights on the up-and-coming trends in high-speed broadband technologies and services. Keller and Heckman will be presenting a 3-hour workshop on key legal issues affecting public broadband initiatives and partnerships.