Telecom Alert - 3.65 GHz Band Comment Deadlines; FCC Pole Attachment Ruling; IP Transition Rules and Proposals; FCC Approves Verizon/NextLink Transaction; FirstNet Opt-Ins - Vol. XIV, Issue 49
FCC Deadlines Set for 3.65 GHz Band
Last week, the FCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to further revise its Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) rules were published in the Federal Register. The CBRS rules include the 3.65 GHz band. Among other things, the FCC has proposed extending the license term for Priority Access Licenses (PAL), creating a license renewal expectancy for PALs, authorizing the agency to auction a PAL in an area even if there is only a single bidder, and increasing the geographic area covered by PALs. Comments are due by December 28th and Reply Comments must be submitted by January 29th.
FCC Pole Attachment Ruling
The FCC last week issued an Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (WC Docket No. 17-84) regarding pole attachments, establishing a 180-day deadline for resolving access complaints, excluding make-ready costs from rental rates, and granting ILECs the right to attach to CLEC poles. The Commission seeks further comment on overlashing issues.
IP Transition Rules and Proposals
In the same Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (WC Docket No. 17-84), the FCC eliminated the requirement for ILECs discontinuing copper loops to provide 180-day notice to business customers, relying on the relaxation of its rules to allow ILECs to contact customers in advance of filing notice of copper retirements with the FCC. The FCC is proposing that if an ILEC elects to discontinue DS-1 service (1.544 Mbps) it will be entitled to streamlined discontinuance procedures provided the carrier implements service at 25/3 Mbps, the current advanced services capability for broadband. The FCC also requests comment on Verizon’s proposal for streamlined procedures for discontinuing TDM voice services when the ILEC has installed VoIP throughout the service area and at least another provider’s voice service (including mobile service) is available in the service area.
FCC Approves Verizon/NextLink Transaction
Last week, the FCC issued an Order approving Verizon’s acquisition from XO Holdings (Nextlink) of approximately 150 wireless licenses in various bands, including: LMDS (28 GHz), 39 GHz, 3.65 GHz, and common carrier fixed point-to-point microwave licenses. Verizon previously leased LMDS and 39 GHz band licenses from Nextlink. The Commission approved the transaction despite an objection from the Competitive Carriers Association, which expressed spectrum aggregation concerns should the Commission endorse Verizon’s acquisition of additional spectrum.
Ohio became the latest state to announce it will opt-in to the FirstNet state plan provided by FirstNet and AT&T. Thirty-five of fifty-six states and territories have now opted-in to the FirstNet plan. No jurisdiction has opted-out of the FirstNet plan, but a number of states – including California – have issued requests for proposals (RFP) seeking proposals to build a competing public safety radio access network relying on FirstNet spectrum. Colorado selected the team of Rivada Networks and Macquarie Developments to build a radio access network in the State if Colorado decides to opt-out of the FirstNet plan. New Hampshire had previously selected Rivada if that State decides to opt-out.