September 27, 2022

Volume XII, Number 270


September 26, 2022

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Telecom Alert: 5.9 GHz Band Order Upheld; $146M in Tribal Broadband Grants; APCO Releases NG911 Guide; ECF Funding [Vol. XIX, Issue 33]

5.9 GHz Band Order Upheld

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia unanimously upheld the FCC’s 5.9 GHZ band order on Friday, stating that the Commission acted within its authority in reallocating the band for Wi-Fi use (Vol. XVIII, Issue 19).  In November 2020, the FCC adopted a Report and Order that designated the lower 45 MHz of the 5.9 GHZ band for unlicensed use and the upper 30 MHz for enhanced automobile safety using Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything technology.  ITS America, AASHTO, and the Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network challenged the FCC’s authority to do so, arguing that it violated the Transportation Equity Act and the Commission failed to explain its decision. The three-judge panel disagreed.

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (“NTIA”) announced over $146 million in broadband grants to five tribal entities in New Mexico through the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program.  The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 allocated $980 million for broadband deployment, digital inclusion, workforce development, telehealth, and distance learning for tribal entities.  The recently passed bipartisan infrastructure law added an additional $1 billion to the Program.  NTIA has now made more than $290 million in funding through the Program.  

APCO Releases NG911 Guide

Last week, the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials-International (“APCO”) released a definitive guide to next-generation 911 (“NG911”) deployment.  The guide addresses what emergency communications centers and professional staff need to make informed decisions now and in the future to deploy comprehensive NG911 technologies.  It educates readers on key concepts and definitions, technical aspects of call flow, project management, and operational impacts and legal implications.  It also includes various handouts for stakeholders and sample templates.  

$68 Million in ECF Funding

Last week, the FCC announced that it is committing nearly $68 million in two new funding rounds through the Emergency Connectivity Fund (“ECF” or the “Program”).  This funding includes over $24 million from the first and second application windows, and nearly $44 million for the third application window.  These commitments will support over 100,000 students across the country, including California, Florida, North Carolina, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. 

Casey Lide, Thomas Magee, Tracy Marshall, Kathleen Slattery Thompson, Sean Stokes, and Wesley Wright also contributed to this article.

© 2022 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 227

About this Author


Jaimy “Sindy” Alarcon is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Licensing Specialist.

Sindy works in conjunction with the attorneys in the Telecommunications Practice to prepare FCC applications for clients seeking authority for new services, modifications, administrative updates, license cancellations, Requests for Special Temporary Authority (STA), Requests for Rule Waivers, Assignments of Authorization, Transfers of Control, Renewals, and Notifications of Construction for various radio services including microwave, land mobile, marine...

Jim Baller Communications Attorney Keller & Heckman Washington, DC

James (Jim) Baller represents clients across the U.S. in a broad range of communications matters including high-capacity broadband network projects, public-private broadband partnerships, telecommunications, wireless facility siting, right-of-way management, pole and conduit attachments, and barriers to community broadband initiatives.

Jim was the founder and president of the U.S. Broadband Coalition, a diverse group of more than 160 communications service providers, high technology companies, labor unions, public interest and consumer groups, state and local government entities,...

Law Graduate

Jason Chun is a Law Graduate with our Telecommunications practice (not yet licensed to practice law as he awaits admittance under the D.C. Bar's Emergency Examination Waiver).

Timothy A. Doughty, Keller Heckman, Telecommunications Licensing Specialist, Lawyer, FCC Matters Attorney

Timothy Doughty joined Keller and Heckman in 2009 as a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Licensing Specialist.

Mr. Doughty assists clients with the preparation of FCC applications, modifications, special temporary authorities, requests for rule waiver, renewals and spectrum leases in various radio services including Private Land Mobile, Microwave, Coast and Ground and Aircraft. His capabilities also include the preparation of tower registrations with the FCC and Obstruction Evaluations and Aeronautical Studies with the Federal Aviation...

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...