July 5, 2020

Volume X, Number 187

July 03, 2020

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Telecom Alert — 3.5 GHz Auction Procedures Approved; C-Band Order; E911 Petition for Reconsideration; Proposed Updates to TV White Space Rules; RDOF Procedures Open for Comment — Vol. XVII, Issue 9

3.5 GHz Auction Procedures Approved

The FCC approved a Public Notice on Friday that establishes application and bidding procedures for the auction of Priority Access Licenses (PALs) in the 3.5 GHz band (Vol. XVI, Issue 39).  Some of the procedures adopted include an ascending clock auction format, bidding on a county-by-county basis, and a first ever “activity upper limit” intended to mitigate the possibility of a bidder losing bidding eligibility in certain circumstances.  Bidding is scheduled to begin on June 25, 2020, with a total of 22,631 PALs nationwide up for auction.  

FCC Passes C-Band Order

The FCC passed a Report and Order and Order of Proposed Modification that repurposes 500 MHz of spectrum in the 3.7 to 4.2 GHz band (C-Band) (Vol. XVI, Issue 47) at its Open Meeting on Friday.  Under the Order, the lower 280 MHz of the band will be made available for flexible use, including 5G services.  The 20 MHz above that would serve as a guard band, and the upper 200 MHz would contain existing satellite operations.  Relocation costs of the existing users would be covered. 

FCC Seeks Comment on E911 Location Accuracy Petition for Reconsideration

The Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau issued a Public Notice last week seeking comment on the Boulder Emergency Telephone Service Authority’s (BRETSA) Petition for Reconsideration of the Fifth Report and Order in the Wireless E911 Location Accuracy Requirements proceeding (Vol. XVII, Issue 6).  In its petition, BRETSA seeks reconsideration in two respects.  It first urges the Commission to adopt proof-of-performance testing to determine whether wireless providers are meeting the vertical location accuracy standard.  BRETSA also argues that the Commission failed to consider its proposal that carriers be required to cooperate with public safety stakeholder accuracy testing and correlation of test results to floor numbers.  

Proposed Updates to TV White Space Rules

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was issued by the Commission on Friday that proposes changes to its White Space device rules (Vol. XVII, Issue 6).  White Space devices operate in portions of the broadcast television bands that are not used by television stations and can be used to provide broadband and other wireless services to rural and underserved communities.  The NPRM proposes allowing higher transmit power and antenna height above average terrain for these devices in order to reach users at greater distances.  

RDOF Procedures Open for Comment

The FCC adopted a Public Notice on Friday that outlines proposed procedures for the first phase of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund auction (Vol. XVII, Issue 5).  Among other things, the Commission seeks comment on the appropriate minimum bidding areas, either census block groups or noticeably larger census tracts, and the pre- and post-auction operational, technical, and financial information applicants and winners would be required to submit.  The auction will make up to $16 billion available for the deployment of fixed broadband networks across rural America.  

© 2020 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume X, Number 62


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. 

Mr. Jarrett represents technology companies in securing amendments to the FCC rules to enable the...

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,...