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Telecom Alert — 3.45-3.55 GHz Band Pleading Cycle; Ubiquiti Consent Decree; C-Band Clearinghouse; October Open Meeting; 5.9 GHz Proposal Critics — Vol. XVII, Issue 43

3.45-3.55 GHz Band Auction Pleading Cycle

The FCC’s Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on its proposal to allocate the 3.45-3.55 GHz band for flexible-use service was published in the Federal Register last week (Vol. XVII, Issue 40).  The FNPRM seeks comment on an appropriate regime to coordinate non-federal and federal use and proposes a band plan, as well as technical, licensing, and competitive bidding rules for the band.  It also proposes the use of geographic area licenses for the auctioned spectrum, but declined to identify which type of geographic areas will be used for new authorizations.  Comments are due on November 20, 2020, and reply comments are due on December 7, 2020.  

Ubiquiti Consent Decree

Last week, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau entered into a Consent Decree with Ubiquiti Inc. (Ubiquiti) to resolve violations of the Commission’s rules regarding the marketing of unauthorized radio frequency devices.  Specifically, the Commission found that Ubiquiti marketed three WiFi access point devices that contained an error in the software driver calibration data that caused them to be capable of exceeding their authorized parameters.  As part of the Consent Decree, Ubiquiti agrees to designate a compliance officer, implement a compliance plan, and pay a civil penalty of $250,000.  

C-Band Relocation Payment Clearinghouse

The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau issued an Order last week announcing the approval of a relocation clearinghouse for the C-Band transition.  The Commission determined that selecting a single, independent Clearinghouse to oversee the cost-related aspects of the transition in a fair and transparent manner would serve the public interest.  It approved the selection by the search committee, which is comprised of CohnReznick LLP and subcontractors Squire Patton Boggs LLP and Intellicom Technologies Inc.  

FCC October Open Meeting

The FCC issued a Sunshine Notice last week announcing the items it will consider at its October Open Meeting.  The Commission will consider an Order on Remand addressing the D.C. Circuit’s remand of the FCC’s Restoring Internet Freedom Order, concluding the Commission’s 2017 Order promotes public safety, facilitates broadband infrastructure deployment, and allows the Commission to continue to provide Lifeline support.  It will also consider a Report and Order establishing a 5G Mobility Fund for Rural America, which would budget $8 billion for a Phase I reverse auction and at least $1 billion for Phase II.  Additionally, the Commission will vote on a Report and Order that would increase opportunities for unlicensed white space devices to operate on broadcast television channels 2-35.  The October Open Meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 27.  

5.9 GHz Criticized by Road Safety Advocates

The Intelligent Transportation Society of America hosted an online webinar entitled “A Conversation Among Transportation Safety and Law Enforcement Stakeholders on the Importance of Preserving the 5.9 GHz Spectrum for Transportation Safety” last Thursday, during which road safety advocates criticized the FCC’s recent proposal to repurpose the lower 45 MHz of the 5.9 GHz band for unlicensed operations (Vol. XVI, Issue 48).  The Commission would reserve the upper 30 MHz of the band for Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) designed to enable Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V) and Vehicle to Infrastructure (V2I) communications.  Advocates stressed that that 30 MHz allocation was not sufficient and would likely experience interference from unlicensed operations.  They stated that the full 75 MHz is needed to support their applications.  

Timothy A. Doughty,  Adam (AJ) Reust and Kathleen Slattery Thompson contributed to this article.

© 2022 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume X, Number 300

About this Author

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

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

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